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Hermitage of St Petersburg

Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, Interior staris at entrance

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg is one of the largest and most comprehensive arts and cultural objective in the world. The museum is housed in a number of architecturally interesting buildings, namely the Winter Palace (1754-1762, architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli), the Small Hermitage (1764-1767, architect JB Falls-Delamot), the Old Hermitage (1771-87, architect YM Felten), the New Hermitage (1839-1852,Leopold von Krenz), the Menshikovpaleis and the Hermitage Theatre (1783-1987, Dzj. Kwarengi). The buildings form a splendid fa├žades along the Neva, the broad inlet that cuts through St. Petersburg.

The museum was founded in 1764, when Catherine the Great received more than 300 paintings by Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky, as a debt obligation. They purchase them at auctions and thousands of paintings from collections in Western Europe. The museum was under Tsar Nicholas I and in 1852 opened to the public. The entire collection includes more than 3 million pieces. In 2004 the museum opened a branch in Amsterdam (Hermitage) and one in Somerset House in London (The Hermitage Rooms) and the American Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 2014, the State Hermitage Museum's will be the 250th anniversary celebration. Pending this, the museum with its two thousand rooms and three million artifacts is working on a new future. AMO , the think tank of OMA, is the museum with a visionary masterplan for the development of the Hermitage up, under the name "The Hermitage 2014 Masterplan". Supervisor of the project is Rem Koolhaas and Talia Dorsey as project architect.