5 april, 2012 22:30  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the Alexander Radishchev State Art Museum in Saratov


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin inspected the museum collection, walked through display rooms, and visited the depository.

In the depository, he was shown a picture recently restored by the Grabar Centre. A pastel drawing on parchment, the work resembled an oil painting.

In another room, Putin saw a 19th-century painting by Alexei Bogolyubov, who founded the Alexander Radishchev State Art Museum. The painting depicted the Smolny Monastery from Bolshaya Okhta. A museum guide said that the painting should please the prime minister because it portrays St Petersburg.

"Yes, it's interesting to see how it looked," he admitted. Putin also inspected a collection of Russian icons. Many of the icons were from Saratov.

General Director Tamara Grodskova complained that there was not enough storage space. Even though the showrooms are well-equipped, she said, and far from all provincial museums can afford such showcases, the museum lacks space and thus uses combined storage, which runs counter to modern museum technologies.

The prime minister asked how much a new museum depository would cost.

"It costs about 270 million roubles to design and build," she replied.

Addressing the new Saratov Region governor and the minister of culture, Putin said: "Let's go fifty-fifty."

The governor and the minister agreed.

"Then, it's a deal," the prime minister said.

"Thank you. You won't recognise this museum when you come see it next time," Grodskova said.