Hermitage Revealed

Mega museum

Russia’s Hermitage museum, founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 in an attempt to rival European collections, has survived fire, flood, revolution, Napoleon, several wars (civil, world and cold) and, worse, Stalin. The city it’s in has been renamed three times (Petrograd, Stalingrad, St. Petersburg).

The museum’s two thousand rooms display three million paintings, jewelry, statues, carriages, furniture, tapestries, weapons and armor, and don’t forget the buildings themselves. I’ll have to go there one day.

As museum flicks go, though, this one by Margy Kinmonth suffers in comparison to, say, Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery, and is marred by the cutesy conceit of following a little boy, presumably the museum’s current director Mikhail Piotrovsky, through its wonders back in the 50s.  (83 min)