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The State Hermitage and Proctor & Gamble launch the joint programme “The Hermitage Next to You”

Published 22 December 2020

On 22 December 2020, in an online press conference organized on the PBK portal, Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage, and Sotirios Marinidis, Vice President and General Manager for Eastern Europe at Procter & Gamble, announced the start of a joint programme entitled “The Hermitage Next to You” that aims to bring art into every home and to make it closer and more accessible to each person.

The programme “The Hermitage Next to You” includes the implementation in the period 2020–22 of social and cultural-educational initiatives directed at as broad a public as possible. An important part of the collaborative programme will be support and development of the State Hermitage’s Lecture Hall in a new online format. Thanks to the partnership between the State Hermitage and Proctor & Gamble, users of the Internet will be able to acquaint themselves with lectures on the history of world and Russian art and with masterpieces of the Hermitage collection in the currently particularly relevant format of remote access. In 2021, with the support of Proctor & Gamble, no fewer than 10,000 users will be able to enjoy free-of-charge access to the updated Hermitage online Lecture Hall.

The programme “The Hermitage Next to You” also envisages carrying out a variety of cultural public education events, including actions, competitions and exhibitions outside of Hermitage premises. One such project is already underway – a limited series of gift sets of various P&G brands carrying images of works from the State Hermitage’s collection: Ivan Aivazovsky’s Ship in a Stormy Sea; Renoir’s Portrait of the Actress Jeanne Samary; Jean-Marc Nattier’s Portrait of Peter I, Alfred de Dreux’s Pugdog in an Armchair and Gainsborough’s Portrait of a Lady in Blue, complemented by brief descriptions and histories of the works shown on the packaging. In this way, art will become part of the daily lives of millions of customers, providing them with the opportunity to become acquainted with masterpieces from one of the world’s greatest museums without leaving home.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage:

“Business’s ability to find unusual pathways helps us together to identify new ways of interacting with new segments of society – both through scholarly lectures and through embellishing gifts.”

Sotirios Marinidis, General Manager for Eastern Europe at Procter & Gamble:

“Today brands play an important social role. Major brands have a duty to factor in, and even bring to the fore, ways in which they can be useful to society. In Russia, culture has always been of high significance, and it would be hard to overestimate the role of the State Hermitage in the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage. Our partnership with the State Hermitage reinforces in a concrete manner the company’s strategy of being a force for positive changes. That striving extends to various aspects of social responsibility, among which the accessibility of the world’s cultural heritage to a broad public occupies an important place.”