Hermitage, Tretyakov and Pushkin Museums to keep police protection

Hermitage, Tretyakov and Pushkin Museums to keep police protection
The Winter Palace at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Image: A.Savin under a CC licence)

18 September 2015

Russia’s most famous museums will continue to have police protection despite budget cuts, according to Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

Mr Kolokoltsev announced on Thursday that “the largest museums […] will remain under police protection,” mentioning only the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow specifically, according to the report by the Interfax news agency.

Last month, the Russian Interior Ministry revealed plans to cut funding for police guards at Russian museums from November, putting art at risk. It was unclear, however, how many museums would be impacted by the cuts. Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported yesterday that from 1 November, the number of police officers stationed at museums will fall from 3,500 to 262. Smaller venues not deemed “critically important” by the government will be left without police protection and will have to employ private security firms.

Source: The Moscow Times