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The State Hermitage and the Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group Hold a Joint Event

Published 03 December 2019

On 28 November 2019, the Armorial Hall was the venue for an evening devoted to the long-standing collaboration between the State Hermitage and the Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group.

The guests were welcomed by Svetlana Adaksina, Chief Curator of the Hermitage, and Dmitry Kuntsev, General Director of the Jewellery Group.

“Our creative, personal and friendly relations with the Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group have long-since stood the test of time. We have accomplished many interesting projects together, brought many exhibits back to life. Today we want to say a big thank-you to you because with your involvement our life is becoming brighter and more colourful, like real diamonds,” Svetlana Adaksina said in her speech.

Addressing the assembled company, Dmitry Kuntsev gave a high assessment of the collaboration between the company and the museum: “I am glad that such a lot of people have gathered here, with many having travelled a long way. But where should one travel, if not to the cultural capital and what is in my opinion the foremost museum in the world – the State Hermitage. To work with the Hermitage is a great honour for us. We regard our jeweller’s craft as a form of decorative and applied art, because we put soul, creativity and expertise into each of our pieces of jewellery. When we manage to produce something fine in conjunction with the Hermitage, we are delighted because we feel ourselves involved in this world of art.”

The central event of the evening was a preview of the exhibition ‘For Service and Bravery’. 250 Years of the Military Order of St George that will be opened during the Hermitage Days. It has been sponsored by the Smolensk Diamonds Group and its people became the first to see the exhibition. Staff of the Hermitage’s Department for Scientific and Educational Work gave a brief tour of the exhibition, spoke about the establishment of the order and the distinctive features of the display.

The official part of the evening concluded with a speech from the exhibition’s curators – Lidia Dobrovolskaya and Alexandra Lukyanchikova.

The Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group has been collaborating with the State Hermitage for 15 years. Over that period several joint projects have been realized, including the restoration of the Russian Empire’s highest orders of chivalry – the Orders of Saint Andrew the First-Called and Saint Catherine – that are in the museum’s stocks. The group’s artists have created a collection of pieces of jewellery from designs made by Carl Fabergé that are kept in the Hermitage’s Department of the History of Russian Culture.