Coronavirus News Asia

Famed Hermitage calls on Moscow for support

Like restaurants and other businesses that are dependent on a steady flow of customers, museums are feeling the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

Likewise, the head of Russia’s renowned Hermitage Museum said this week the government should step in and ensure the survival of museums which are now struggling, The Global Times reported.

Since the introduction of a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in mid-March, museums across Russia have gradually closed their doors to the public, the report said.

President Vladimir Putin then declared April a non-working month, encouraging Russians to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Hermitage chief Mikhail Piotrovsky said the museum had already lost half of its annual budget and was now in talks with the government in the hope to secure financial aid, the report said.

“The state must ensure the survival of culture,” Piotrovsky said during an online news conference.

Piotrovsky said that once the lockdown is over the museum would need about a month to prepare for a re-opening.

The cats who now guard the famed Hermitage museum actually found a home there in the 1850s. Credit: TENGRI News.

The museum was founded in 1764 under Empress Catherine the Great and features more than 3 million works of art and cultural artifacts.

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