The State Hermitage Museum reopens to the public

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The State Hermitage Museum reopens to the public
The Winter Palace.

ST PETERSBURG.- The State Hermitage Museum announced its reopening from the 15 July 2020.

This follows a period of almost four months during which time the museum has worked in a state of «intelligent isolation», maintaining close contact with its visitors through social media and the museum’s website. During the period, the Hermitage has welcomed more than 45 million virtual visitors.

The State Hermitage is introducing temporary rules for visitors. Tickets to visit the museum can be purchased online only for a particular time slot and a particular fixed route. To conform with health and safety requirements, visits to the Main Museum Complex and the General Staff building will be limited to a period of two hours. Additionally, movement around the museum displays will be strictly in one direction. In the intervals between time slots, the halls will undergo sanitary treatments and airing. Wearing of personal protection (masks and gloves) is compulsory for visitors and stuff; sanitizers have been installed in public areas. Special markings on the floor in the museum entrance zone will enable visitors to easily find the start of their particular route without getting too close to one another.

The new museum website has tickets available for the Main Museum Complex and the General Staff building. Initially three general routes will be on offer: two around the Main Museum Complex and one around the General Staff building. People who wish to pay a “classic visit” to the Hermitage – enjoying the beauty of the state rooms and also viewing gems of Western European fine art – can choose Route No 1 through the Main Museum Complex (starting in the direction of the Jordan Staircase). Those who are more interested in the Winter Palace as the residence of Russian emperors and empresses and want to view the interiors of their former living apartments will prefer Route No 2 through the Main Museum Complex (starting in the direction of the Church Staircase). This route also features the displays of Britain, France and the countries of the East. Both routes include the displays of Western European art in the Old and New Hermitages, as well as the halls of the art of Classical Antiquity and Ancient Egypt. Visitors to the General Staff building can view one of the world’s finest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings: the Sergei Shchukin and Morozov Brothers Memorial Gallery, which also features masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, Denis and many others.

All three routes reflect the universal character of an encyclopedic museum, the breadth and variety of its collections. From 23 July, a special route will be available, at the heart of which is a visit to the Gold Rooms of the Hermitage’s Treasure Gallery where the display includes the Siberian Collection of Peter I, Scythian and Sarmatian gold, the creations of craftsmen of Ancient Greece and the lands of the East. The routes do allow visitors to make individual choices between several alternative tracks, deciding which halls to view in greater detail and which to pass by. The Hermitage’s website provides the opportunity to learn more about each route before purchasing a ticket: you can examine the list of included halls, the way you will go around and information about the exhibits to be viewed. From the 1st august will reopen other exhibition buildings of the State Hermitage museum and also will be allowed group tours (five persons maximum).

For almost four months, the State Hermitage museum has worked in a state of «intelligent isolation». The museum continued to carry out its main function - the preservation of world cultural monuments. Scientists, restorers and other services of the Hermitage continued their work remotely.

Throughout this time, the Hermitage maintained close contact with its visitors through social media and the museum’s website. During the period of «intelligent isolation», the staff of the Hermitage issued 165 videos, on a dedicated «Virtual visit» section of the website. The total number of virtual visitors to the Hermitage in four months exceeds 45 million. For The Hermitage Online project, tours were prepared not only in Russian, but also in English, French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and Bulgarian. Special attention should be paid to the project The Hermitage for Italy, a sign of solidarity and support to the friends of the museum from the Apennine peninsula: in three months, eight excursions in the Italian language were aired. In June, Italian colleagues launched the reciprocal project Italy for the Hermitage, which included three excursions from the best museums in the country. Both projects were implemented with the support of the Centre Hermitage - Italy, the agency Villaggio Globale International and the Institute of Culture of Italy.

After the reopening, the Hermitage staff will continue to hold online excursions and lectures to make the museum’s collections even more accessible to the public. The new rules for visiting the museum will be adjusted according to the health situation in the region. The State Hermitage museum is open to suggestions, and on the basis of feedback, staff will make changes to the museum visit scheme.

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