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Prof. Piotrovski Mikhail Borisovich

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 (1997).

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.

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