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Russian Museum eyes opening branches in France, China

The Russian Museum is the country’s first state museum of Russian art
State Russian Museum  Alexander Demianchuk/TASS
State Russian Museum
© Alexander Demianchuk/TASS

ST.PETERSBURG, October 16. /TASS/. The State Russian Museum will discuss at the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum in November the prospects of opening a branch in central France’s Loches, the museum’s director Vladimir Gusev told TASS.

According to him, other branches of the Russian Museum may be opened in China’s Shanghai and in Russia’s Kemerovo.

"At the cultural forum, there will be a delegation from the municipality of Loches. This is a wonderful town in France: XI-XVI century, the Middle Ages, marvelous castles, a cathedral and France’s history. <...> And they want to establish a cultural and exhibition center of the Russian Museum. There can be small exhibitions there," Gusev said.

The museum also plans to develop a network of virtual branches in Russia and other countries, and the opening of a new virtual branch in Shanghai is scheduled for the near future. "Works are nearing end in China now on opening a virtual branch of the Russian Museum and in total, we have opened more than 200 digital entities in Russia and abroad. A branch was unveiled in China’s Beijing but this did not work - this depends on people and financing. And now a center is opening in Shanghai. There are plans and the wish to create a real branch of the Russian Museum," Gusev said.

The museum is also actively engaged in regional projects, including on creating museums in Vladivostok, Kaliningrad and Sevastopol. "We have cultural and exhibition centers, which have been very successfully developing thanks to financing by regional budgets. This is Kazan, Murmansk, Yaroslavl and Saransk, and there is a bulk of applications and we cannot even satisfy all of them," Gusev said.

Gusev also said a branch of the Russian Museum was being established in Kemerovo, south-central Russia. "There will be a real branch in Kemerovo. And there will be a virtual Russian Museum there, which gives huge opportunities in addition to the museum’s halls - these are educational programs, activities for children and so on," he noted.

The Russian Museum is the country’s first state museum of Russian art, which was established by a decree of tsar Nicholas II in 1895. The museum’s collection includes nearly 400,000 exhibits and covers all historical periods, Russian art genres, its key currents and schools dating back to X-XXI centuries.