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'State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History' exhibition opens in Athens

The "State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History" exhibition opens its doors at the Byzantine and Christian Museum (BCM) in Athens on Wednesday, following an official inauguration ceremony by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.

In a press conference also attended by Hermitage Museum Director Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovski on Tuesday, culture and sports ministry general secretary Maria Andreadaki-Blazaki said the exhibition illustrated the "encyclopaedic spirit" of the St. Petersburg-based Hermitage Museum through the presentation of a great variety of works from different cultural environments spanning an extended period of time.
BCM Director Aikaterini Delaporta said that part of the exhibition, which was designed by the BCM, aimed to introduce Greek visitors into a period in the history of art from the Renaissance in the 15th century to the present day, based on the Hermitage collections. It also includes some archaeological artifacts and works of art, including paintings, miniatures and sculpture, that are representative of Hermitage Museum collections dating from the 5th century B.C. to the 20th century.
The exhibition is divided into two main sections, the first of which is devoted to miniatures and the personal objects of the Russian czars but also the Hermitage Museum itself and will be held in the main building. The second, featuring works of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and would be held in the BCM's temporary exhibitions gallery.
Among the most notable items were the gold decorative buckles and other jewellery made by the peoples on the north shores of the Black Sea, Scythian artifacts with a strong Greek influence, Hellenistic-era items and richly decorated personal items owned by Russia's royalty, included gifts presented by foreign diplomats. The second section includes works representative of all trends in European art, including masterpieces by El Greco, Rubens, Caravaggio, Canova and Rodin.
The exhibition is considered the foremost event marking Greece Russia Year 2016 and will run until February 26, 2017.