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International Day of Hermitage Friends

Published 10 December 2019

On 8 December 2019, the General Staff building became the venue for the celebration of the International Day of Hermitage Friends, to which Friends of the museum from all over the world are traditionally invited.

The evening began with a visit to the temporary exhibition of the contemporary Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie – “I have turned my only face...”

In the Atrium of the General Staff, the guests were welcomed by Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, who told the Friends about the main events of the past year in the museum. He also introduced the delegations of Friends from Italy, Britain and the Netherlands who were attending. The Dutch delegation included the 5,000,000th visitor to the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre, Mrs Van den Essenburg-Bonnema. Mikhail Borisovich personally present this honoured guest with a commemorative gift – an autographed copy of his book My Hermitage.

The floor was then taken by Ernst Veen, the President of the Hermitage Friends in the Netherlands Foundation and founder of the Hermitage–Amsterdam Centre. He reminded the gathering of some notable anniversaries in 2019 – the 255th anniversary of the Hermitage, the tenth anniversary of the Hermitage–Amsterdam and the 25th anniversary of the Hermitage Friends in the Netherlands. He wished Mikhail Borisovich a happy 75th birthday and on behalf of the Dutch delegation presented him with a commemorative volume containing autographs and best wishes for the occasion from Dutch Friends.

The entertainment programme entitled “The Baroque Theatre of Catherine the Great” was provided by the Soloists of Catherine the Great ensemble led by Andrei Reshetin and the Saint Petersburg Angiolini Ballet. The evening ended with celebratory cocktails.