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Russia's State Hermitage Museum denies Ukrainian media claims about Crimean exhibits

October 21, 2015, 20:40 UTC+3 St PETERSBURG
Ukrainian media claimed the State Hermitage Museum is expanding its collection with the exhibits allegedly removed from Crimean museums
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© Yuri Belinsky/TASS

St PETERSBURG, October 21. /TASS/. The State Hermitage Museum is not expanding its collection with the exhibits allegedly removed from Crimean museums, the press service of the world’s largest museum amalgamation said on Wednesday in a reaction to Ukrainian mass media reports on a transfer of valuable museum exhibits from Crimea to St Petersburg.

"It’s far from the first time they (Ukrainian media people) make these claims," a spokesperson for the press service told TASS. "I don’t know where they took the story this time but such injections of misinformation occur regularly enough after the intervals of about two months."

"Nonetheless, we are not removing anything from Crimea," he said. "I hope you know Mikhail Borisovich (Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, the State Hermitage Museum director - TASS) objects strongly to any redistribution of museum collections."

The State Hermitage Museum does not remove from the Crimea even the archeological finds made by its staff-members during expeditions to the Crimea and send them directly to local museums.

Along with it, the antique artefacts quite often reach the showcases of other museums as part of inter-museum exchanges, the spokesperson recalled.

As of this Friday, the State Hermitage Museum hosts an exhibition titled ‘In the Land of the Griffin: Archeology of Antiquity in Crimea’. The scope of items on display there includes some exhibits from the collection of the East-Crimean Museum Preserve of History and Culture located in the city of Kerch.

The exhibition features the finds made by the oldest permanent expedition that has been doing excavations at the site of the ancient town of Nympheus since 1939. Their list includes slabs with reliefs, an architrave with an inscription in Greek, and a set of items from a Scythian horse harness.

The efforts of the comprehensive expedition that is now researching the site of the sunken town of Acra are represented by ceramic vessels and fragments of terracotta figurines. The scope of the finds of the Myrmecium expedition includes a part of the world’s largest hoard of Cyzicus coins discovered in 2003, as well as the early Panticapaean coins, fragments of ceramics, and bone relief.

Officials at the State Hermitage Museum do not link the publications in the Ukrainian media to this temporary loan exhibition, since the Ukrainian reports targeted a different museum

"They spoke about Chersonesus and didn’t mention the exhibition, for which the Kerch museum loaned its exhibits," the spokesperson said.

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