The Hermitage Museum, which houses the largest art collection in the world at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, plans to open a regional branch in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city. Culture Minister Pavel Krekov said: “The establishment of a branch here will help put Yekaterinburg on the map in Russia and around the world.” The project will be financially backed by the Svedlovsk Regional government.
The Hermitage already has regional outposts in Kazan in central Russia and Vyborg close to the border with Finland. It also has international branches in Amsterdam, Vilnius and Ferrara. The museum’s rooms at Somerset House in London and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, a collaboration between the St Petersburg institute and the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, have closed in recent years.
In St Petersburg, the Hermitage recently opened a new contemporary art wing in the General Staff Buildings across the square from the Winter Palace. The museum will host Manifesta 10, Europe’s leading biennial of contemporary art in 2014.