Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovski was born in Erevan,
Armenia, in 1944. His father, Boris Borisovich
Piotrovski, an eminent archaeologist was director of
The State Hermitage Museum from 1964 to his death in
1990; his mother Hripsime Djanpoladjan is also an
archaeologist. He was brought up in St. Petersburg
(Leningrad), spent many hours in the Museum as a child
and studied in the Museum's Art History School. He
graduated from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State
University, specializing in Arabic Studies, in 1967. He
also attended Cairo University from 1965 to 1966. He
entered the Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental
Studies as a research assistant in1967 and worked there
until 1991, by which time he had a Ph.D.Dr.Sc. (History) and was a senior researcher.
Following his father's death he was invited, in 1991, to join the Hermitage staff as the
First Deputy Director. In July 1992 he was appointed Director of the Museum by a
decree of the Prime Minister.
Dr. Piotrovsky has taken part in archaeological excavations in the
Caucasus, Central Asia and Yemen. He was the head of a team in the Soviet
Yemeni Expedition from 1981 to 1991 and was its director during 1989 to
1990. His publications include: The Saga of the Yemen King Asad (1977),
The Main Features of Islamic Art (1984), Southern Arabia in the Middle
Ages (1985), Islam. An Encyclopedia (1991), Koranic Tales (1991). He is the co-
author, with Oleg Neverov, of The Hermitage: Essays on the History of the Collection
Dr. Piotrovsky is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
a full member of the Russian Academy of Humanities, Professor of the St.
Petersburg state University and is on the boards of the President's Committee
for the Russian State Prize, President's Council for Art and Culture,
Foundation for Research in Humanities, Russian Commission for UNESCO,
Exhibitions Experts Committee of the Council of Europe and other national
and international bodies.
He has been awarded the Netherlands Order of Orange Nassau (1996), the Russian
Order of Honour (1997), the French Order of Honor (1998), Swedish Commander of
The Royal Order of the Polar Star (1999).
Also in 1997 a planet was named "Piotrovsky" in joint honour of Mikhail Borisovich
Piotrivsky and his father Boris Borisovich Piotrovsky.
His wife Irina is an economist, specializing in international finance. They
have two children, Maria and Boris.