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Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky will face “severe” administrative punishment for oversight that resulted in the theft of 200 artworks from the museum
Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky will face “severe” administrative punishment for oversight that resulted in the theft of 200 artworks from the museum. The head of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography, Mikhail Shvydkoi, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday that the agency had received Piotrovsky’s note and was preparing an order on administrative punishment for him. “The order will be ready within days, and it will be very severe,” Shvydkoi said. “But there are no miracles. The people who think the situation at the Hermitage and other Russian museum can change dramatically overnight by some magic are disillusioned,” Shvydkoi said. He stressed, however, that some improvements had been made: Russian museums have been inspected over the past six months, and ”money has become available for modernising the security system in museum storage rooms.” As a result, the number of thefts from museums has decreased twofold, the official said. At the same time, the number of thefts by museum personnel has increased. Shvydkoi believes this highlights the need for more serious work with museum personnel that have to be selected on a competitive basis. “Responsibility for the selection of personnel should be borne not only by the relevant department but primarily by the management of a museum,” Shvydkoi said.
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