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  Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Rosokhrankultura and Roskultura began on Wednesday checking the registration and safe keeping of exhibits in the Hermitage Museum
A commission of the culture agencies Rosokhrankultura and Roskultura began on Wednesday checking the registration and safe keeping of exhibits in the Hermitage State Museum of St. Petersburg. The checks have been ordered in connection with the theft of 221 items from the museum’s Russia section, Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky told reporters. He said that the Russian Union of Museums would hold an emergent meeting over the incident in St. Petersburg on August 14. “We, museum workers, should sort out causes and methods of counteraction,” Piotrovsky said. The commission that will examine the Hermitage stocks will include specialists from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The disappearance of the objects of art was revealed on July 23. After several days of additional inquiries, the museum’s administrators reported it to police. Piotrovksy said that the items must have been stolen during several years. The theft would be impossible “without a certain degree of the participation of museum workers,” he added. He called the crime a “stab in the back”. Hermitage administrators know that four people had access at different times to a collection room from which the works were stolen. The value of the missing items, which were not insured, is put at 130 million roubles, or about 5 million dollars. A part of these items were on display at the exhibition “Sinai, Byzantium, Rus. Orthodox Art from the 16th to the Early 20th Century” six years ago. The collection of Hermitage, one of the world’s largest and most renowned museums, has more than 3.5 million items. The collection of the Russia section includes more than 300,000 exhibits depicting the 1,000-year history of Russia.
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