MOSCOW, June 25 (Itar-Tass) — Irina Antonova, the director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, on Monday received the Star to the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, the top public award of Russia.
Antonova was decorated with the Star to commend her contribution to developing the museum business and preserving and popularizing national and world cultural heritage.
“The fact that in her capacity of the museum’s director Irina Antonova has managed to double or even triple the collection of works of art indicates her colossal devotion to culture,” Alexander Volovik, a co-chairman of the Expert and Editorial Council, said at the decoration ceremony held in the Italian courtyard of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.
He also praised Irina Antonova for her personal qualities such as dedication to her work and attentive and delicate attitude to people.
“I couldn’t have imagined that a museum worker could draw the Council’s attention given who was decorated with the Star prior to me,” Irina Antonova said.
“The State Museum of Fine Arts has about 700,000 works of art, including sculpture, painting, numismatics, drawings and engravings. All of them call for attention from the museum’s employees. That is why they can fully share this decoration with me. The Star to the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky will be stored in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts as a museum exhibit in future,” Antonova went on to say.
Volovik said that the Order was established by Peter the Great in 1724. After the 1917 revolution the order ceased to exist. The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was reinstated in 2002. Since then the Star has been awarded to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, the world’s first woman cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, etc.
The Star to the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is an eight-angled star with faceted polished rays. A circle covered with white enamel is in the centre. The name of St. Alexander Nevsky is inscribed in golden letters under the princely crown. The motto “For Work and Fatherland” is written full circle in golden letters. Two branches of the laurel are depicted below.
The Star is awarded to commend merits to society linked to the development of Russian statehood, science, culture, considerable contribution to the defense of Fatherland and other merits recognized by society.