On May 27-28 night the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg was open free for the public for the first time in the Russian museum history.
From 6 p.m. till 5 a.m. 22,000 people visited the museum. Too many people wanted to watch the sunrise in the residence of Russian tsars and they had to stand in a queue by the entrance to the museum all night long, the Hermitage press service told RIA Novosti.
St. Petersburg Camerata orchestra was playing for the visitors. Alexander Sokurov's film "The Russian Ark" was shown in the Hermitage theatre. Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky and film director Sokurov carved jubilee medallions out of a mammoth tusk on the exact copy of Peter I's lathe.
This is not the only present, which the museum makes to Petersburg residents and guests on the anniversary of the Northern capital. On May 28-29 the Hermitage will be open free. On May 30-31 the museum will be closed for the public.