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Hermitage
Hermitage History





1917: The Winter Palace and the Hermitage were announced state museums

On 30 October 1917, the People's Commissar for Education in the Soviet Government, Anatoly Lunacharsky, announced the Winter Palace and the Hermitage to be state museums. For several months the members of his staff (known as Narkompros - the People's Commissariat for Education) were housed in the ground floor rooms of the Winter Palace, where a cultural centre was opened. Soon after the October Revolution of 1917 the public was able to attend lectures, films and concerts in the state rooms of the Winter Palace. The first exhibitions (paintings and Funeral Cults of Encient Egypt) opened in the Hermitage in 1919 and by November 1920 all the items evacuated to Moscow had again taken their places in the Museum. On 2 January 1921 the rooms of the Picture Gallery opened to the public. The following year more exhibition rooms in the Winter Palace became available to the public and the first excursions were held. Entrance to the Museum was still via the portico with Atlantes figures and for the first five years admission was free.

By a decision of the Petrograd Soviet of 11 January 1920, a Museum of the October Revolution was established in the Winter Palace. This displayed materials dealing with the history of the liberation movement in Russia and the events of 1917, as well as private rooms of the imperial family, intended to show how luxuriously they had lived while many ordinary people were starving. The Museum of the October Revolution closed in the mid-1930s and it was only after the Second World War that the Winter Palace ceased to house a combination of different museums.



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The Hermitage
 
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Related Links:
The official homepage of the State Hermitage Museum: www.hermitagemuseum.org

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