On 24 October, 2013 the 3rd International Hermitage Friends’ Conference started its work in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. The conference was organized by the State Hermitage Museum and the Association of Italian Friends of the State Hermitage Museum and brought together Heads and Executives of the Hermitage Friends’ organizations outside Russia: representatives from the Netherlands, the USA, the UK, Israel, and Italy.
The meeting was inaugurated by the President of the Italian Association Cav. Francesco Bigazzi, Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in Florence Prof. Girolamo Guicciardini Strozzi, and the Director of the State Hermitage Museum Prof. Mikhail Piotrovsky who made a presentation of the numerous Hermitage exhibitions and initiatives scheduled for the Anniversary year of 2014 as well as plans for the museum development in the coming years.
The meeting focused on the wide range of issues relating to the activities of the Hermitage Friends in support of the museum, as well as various initiatives and Friends’ events that will mark the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage in 2014. Other interesting proposals concerned the exhibitions in the countries participating in the Conference, the new Friends’ online shop and special Friends’ tours to the Hermitage. Hermitage Friends Club also introduced a list of restoration and educational projects that are offered to the Hermitage Friends for participation and support.