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ST. PETERSBURG, August 18 /TASS/. Police will stop guarding the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in November because of the forthcoming lay-offs at the Russian Interior Ministry, Mikhail Piotrovsky, president of the Russian Museums’ Union and the Hermitage museum director-general, said on Tuesday.
Piotrovsky believes that other Russian museums are likely to face similar problems. This has prompted the Russian Museums’ Union to organize joint training and work out measures to protect expositions from hooliganism with the help of their own security services or private security companies.
"We have received a letter, which says that all security police are going to leave the Hermitage museum as of November 1," Piotrovsky told the Ekho Moskvy radio station in St. Petersburg. "There is a short list of cultural institutions where security police will remain," Piotrovsky said adding he was not sure what institutions were on that list.
"I have written several letters to all the ministers asking them for explanations. I have not received any reply as of yet. For the moment, the only thing we know is that they (police) are leaving," the Hermitage director-general said.