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A FIVE DAY EXPLORATION OF THE HERMITAGE WITH THE UK FRIENDS
The Hermitage is the largest museum in the world. It contains the art collections of the Russian Tsars and another 2 million star objects added since the 1917 revolution. It can¹t be properly appreciated in the brief visit most tours allow for. The UK Friends of the Hermitage are launching the first five day tour with the museum itself as the destination from 11-16 September .
Geraldine Norman, formerly an art correspondent with The Times and Independent newspapers and now UK Representative of the Hermitage, will accompany the tour and open doors. All five mornings of the tour will be spent in the museum or its outstations, sometimes when the museum is
closed to the public. On the assumption that participants will have been to St Petersburg before, three of the afternoons have been left free for independent visits, though there will be the option of joining tours to some lesser-known places (there is an extra charge for these). Two visits to opera, ballet or other music are included in the price.
The Hermitage traces its foundation to the first purchases of the Empress Catherine the Great in 1764, though Peter the Great had already been
collecting in the early 18th century. Subsequent emperors bought more treasures and in the years following the 1917 revolution a flood of new
material entered the museum from the nationalised collections of the nobility and various lesser museums that were closed at the time.
The old favourites are, of course, included in the tour but we will look at them at a gentler pace and in perfect circumstances. The first day of the trip, a Monday when the Museum is closed, will allow us to look peacefully at the State Rooms and the magnificent architecture of the
Winter Palace and to enjoy the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists without a crowd.
On subsequent days, we will look at the masterpieces of Old Master painting, especially Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. We will look at the golden artefacts created by Greek craftsmen for the Scythian tribes in southern Russia in the 6th and 5th centuries BC which are among the
Museum¹s most famous treasures and we will also see the oldest carpet in the world and other artefacts unearthed by Hermitage archaeologists in the 1950s from tombs above the snow line in the Altai Mountains theyremained intact having been frozen for two millennia.
Russian and Oriental treasures, also, will not be missed out. All in all, it promises to be a unique experience.
Bookings and enquiries: all should be
directed to: Martin Randall Travel Ltd, Voysey
House, Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4GF,
Tel 0208742 3355, fax 0208742 7766,
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