The State Hermitage Museum has opened a new storage facility in St. Petersburg. According to the St. Petersburg Governor's press office, the new facility differs from traditional storage rooms in that it will be open to visitors. The seven-storey building, which has a total area of over 16,000 square metres, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a microclimate control system. Modern approaches to the storage and restoration of works of art were used during construction of the facility, as were up-to-date computer and security systems.
The new facility holds collections from the Departments of Western European Art, Russian Culture, the Orient, and Eastern European and Siberian Archeology. It also has a research laboratory for restoring paintings. The building doubles as a branch of the Hermitage and will allow visitors to learn about storing works of art.
The main contractor for the construction of the facility was Lemminkainen, Finland's second largest construction firm. The Hermitage regards the opening of the first section of the new storage facility as its contribution to St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations.