Ministry of Culture (France)
The Ministry of Culture is the ministry of the Government of France in charge of national museums and the monuments historiques. Its goal is to maintain the French identity through the promotion and protection of the arts on national soil and abroad, its budget is dedicated to the management of the Archives Nationales and the regional Maisons de la culture. Its main office is in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris on the Rue de Valois, it is headed by the Minister of a cabinet member. The current position holder is Franck Riester, since 16 October 2018. Deriving from the Italian and Burgundian courts of the Renaissance, the notion that the state had a key role to play in the sponsoring of artistic production and that the arts were linked to national prestige was found in France from at least the 16th century on. During the pre-revolutionary period, these ideas are apparent in such things as the creation of the Académie française, the Académie de peinture et de sculpture and other state-sponsored institutions of artistic production, through the cultural policies of Louis XIV's minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert.
The modern post of Minister of Culture was created by Charles de Gaulle in 1959 and the first Minister was the writer André Malraux. Malraux was responsible for realizing the goals of the droit à la culture, an idea, incorporated in the Constitution of France and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by democratising access to culture, while achieving the Gaullist aim of elevating the "grandeur" of post-war France. To this end, he created numerous regional cultural centres throughout France and sponsored the arts. Malraux's artistic tastes included the modern arts and the avant-garde, but on the whole he remained conservative. Under president François Mitterrand the Minister of Culture was Jack Lang who showed himself to be far more open to popular cultural production, including jazz and roll, rap music, graffiti art, comic books and food, his famous phrase "économie et culture, même combat" is representative of his commitment to cultural democracy and to active national sponsorship and participation in cultural production.
In addition to the creation of the Fête de la Musique and overseeing the French Revolution bicentennial, he was in charge of the massive architectural program of the François Mitterrand years that gave permission for the building of the Bibliothèque nationale, the new Louvre, the Arab World Institute, the Musée d'Orsay, the Opéra-Bastille, the "Grande Arche" of La Défense, the new seat of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and Cité de la Musique, both in the Parc de la Villette. The Ministry of Jacques Toubon was notable for a number of laws enacted for the preservation of the French language, both in advertisements and on the radio, ostensibly in reaction to the presence of English; the following people were appointed as Minister of Culture of France: Since the French constitution does not identify specific ministers, each government may label each ministry as they wish, or have a broader ministry in charge of several governmental sectors.
Hence, the ministry has gone through a number of different names: The Ministry of Culture is made up of a variety of internal divisions, including: Direction de l'administration générale Direction de l'architecture et du patrimoine - in charge of national monuments and heritage Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel - maintains extensive databases of historical sites and objects. See Base Mérimée, Base Palissy and Monument historique. Direction des archives de France - in charge of the National Archives Direction du livre et de la lecture - in charge of French literature and the book trade Direction de la musique, de la danse, du théâtre et des spectacles - in charge of music and theater Direction des Musées de France - in charge of the National museumsThe Ministry has access to one inter-ministerial division: Direction du développement des médias in charge of developing and expanding the French media The Ministry runs three "delegations": Délégation aux arts plastiques - in charge of the visual and sculptural arts Délégation au développement et aux affaires internationales - in charge of international affairs and French art Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France - in charge of the French language and languages of FranceFinally, the Ministry shares in the management of the National Centre of Cinema, a public institution.
The Alliance française is run by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. For more on the organization of the Ministry, see Ministry of Culture. On the national level, the Ministry runs: Regional Cultural Affairs Departmental Architecture and Monuments Departmental Archives under the direction of the depart
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of 19.1 km from the centre of Paris. Inhabitants are called Saint-Germinois. With its elegant tree-lined streets it is one of the more affluent suburbs of Paris, combining both high-end leisure spots and exclusive residential neighborhoods. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a sub-prefecture of the department; because it includes the National Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, it covers 48 km2, making it the largest commune in the Yvelines. It occupies a large loop of the Seine. Saint-Germain-en-Laye lies at one of the western termini of Line A of the RER. Saint-Germain-en-Laye was founded in 1020 when King Robert the Pious founded a convent on the site of the present Church of Saint-Germain. In 1688, James II, King of England and VII of Scotland, exiled himself to the city after being deposed from the throne in what has become known as the Glorious Revolution, he spent the remainder of his days there, died on 16 September 1701.
Prior to the French Revolution in 1789, it had been a royal town and the Château de Saint-Germain the residence of numerous French monarchs. The old château was constructed in 1348 by King Charles V on the foundations of an old castle dating from 1238 in the time of Saint Louis. Francis I was responsible for its subsequent restoration. In 1862, Napoleon III set up the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in the erstwhile royal château; this museum has exhibits ranging from Paleolithic to Celtic times. The "Dame de Brassempouy" sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago is the most famous exhibit in the museum. Kings Henry IV and Louis XIII left their mark on the town. Louis XIV was born in the château, established Saint-Germain-en-Laye as his principal residence from 1661 to 1681. Louis XIV turned over the château to James VII & II of Scotland and England after his exile from Britain after the Glorious Revolution in 1688. James lived in the Château for 13 years, his daughter Louisa Maria Stuart was born in exile here in 1692.
James II is buried in the Church of Saint-Germain. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is famous for its 2.4-kilometre long stone terrace built by André Le Nôtre from 1669 to 1673. The terrace provides a view over the valley of the Seine and, in the distance, Paris. During the French Revolution, the name was changed along with many other places whose names held connotations of religion or royalty. Temporarily, Saint-Germain-en-Laye became Montagne-du-Bon-Air. During his reign, Napoleon I established his cavalry officers training school in the Château-Vieux; the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in 1919 and was applied on 16 July 1920. The treaty registered the breakup of the Habsburg empire, which recognized the independence of Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Kingdom of the Serbs and Slovenes. During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, the town was the headquarters of the German Army. On 1 January 2019, the former commune Fourqueux was merged into Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Saint-Germain-en-Laye station on Paris RER line A.
It is served by two stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Saint-Germain – Bel-Air – Fourqueux and Saint-Germain – Grande Ceinture. Saint-Germain-en-Laye is served by Achères – Grand Cormier station on Paris RER line A and on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line; this station is located in the middle of the Forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, far away from the urbanized part of the commune. Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a proud footballing history. From 1904 to 1970 it was represented by Stade Saint-Germain which, following a 1970 merger with Paris FC, became Paris Saint-Germain, or Paris SG, now PSG for short, they are a top-flight football team who have won one C2 cup. PSG are the highest ranking team in France. From 1904 to 1974, "Le Camp des Loges" was the main stadium, they are now, based in Paris – but continue to train in their original stadium. In 2011, Paris Saint-Germain was bought by the Qatar Investment Authority, bringing greater financial means.
There is one main sporting facility in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: the Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre. It covers over 12 hectares and contains: – 5 football pitches – 3 stands – 1 athletic track – 22 tennis courts – 1 clubhouse – 1 multibeach terrain Capcom Entertainment France, a Capcom subsidiary, has its head office in Saint-Germain-en-Laye; as of 2016 the schools in this commune had 20,581 students, with 7,300 of them living in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a high ratio of overall students to town inhabitants; the municipal nursery and primary schools have 3,549 students. 1,026 students attend private schools in the commune. 522 students attend primary divisions. As of 2016 the municipality operates nine primary schools; the Lycée International de Saint Germain-en-Laye, a public school, is in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It includes a section for Japanese students, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology lists that program in its group of European hoshuko. Other public high schools: Lycée Jeanne-d'Albret Lycée technologique Léonard-de-Vinci Lycée technologique Jean-Baptiste-Poquelin lycée agricole et horticole de Saint-Germain-ChambourcyPrivate schools include: Collège et Lycée Notre-Dame École Saint-
Salzburg "salt castle", is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of Federal State of Salzburg. Its historic centre is renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps, with 27 churches, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The city has a large population of students. Tourists visit Salzburg to tour the historic centre and the scenic Alpine surroundings. Salzburg was the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the mid‑20th century, the city was film The Sound of Music. Traces of human settlements have been found in the area; the first settlements in Salzburg continuous with the present were by the Celts around the 5th century BC. Around 15 BC the Roman Empire merged the settlements into one city. At this time, the city was called "Juvavum" and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium in 45 AD. Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. After the Norican frontier’s collapse, Juvavum declined so that by the late 7th century it nearly became a ruin.
The Life of Saint Rupert credits the 8th-century saint with the city's rebirth. When Theodo of Bavaria asked Rupert to become bishop c. 700, Rupert reconnoitered the river for the site of his basilica. Rupert chose Juvavum, ordained priests, annexed the manor of Piding. Rupert named the city "Salzburg", he travelled to evangelise among pagans. The name Salzburg means "Salt Castle"; the name derives from the barges carrying salt on the River Salzach, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century as was customary for many communities and cities on European rivers. Hohensalzburg Fortress, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, who made it his residence, it was expanded during the following centuries. Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century. Salzburg was the seat of the Archbishopric of a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire; as the Reformation movement gained steam, riots broke out among peasants in the areas in and around Salzburg. The city was occupied during the German Peasants' War, the Archbishop had to flee to the safety of the fortress.
It was besieged for three months in 1525. Tensions were quelled, the city's independence led to an increase in wealth and prosperity, culminating in the late 16th to 18th centuries under the Prince Archbishops Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Markus Sittikus, Paris Lodron, it was in the 17th century that Italian architects rebuilt the city centre as it is today along with many palaces. On 31 October 1731, the 214th anniversary of the 95 Theses, Archbishop Count Leopold Anton von Firmian signed an Edict of Expulsion, the Emigrationspatent, directing all Protestant citizens to recant their non-Catholic beliefs. 21,475 citizens were expelled from Salzburg. Most of them accepted an offer by King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia, travelling the length and breadth of Germany to their new homes in East Prussia; the rest settled in other Protestant states in the British colonies in America. In 1772–1803, under archbishop Hieronymus Graf von Colloredo, Salzburg was a centre of late Illuminism. In 1803, the archbishopric was secularised by Emperor Napoleon.
In 1805, Salzburg was annexed to the Austrian Empire, along with the Berchtesgaden Provostry. In 1809, the territory of Salzburg was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria after Austria's defeat at Wagram. After the Congress of Vienna with the Treaty of Munich, Salzburg was definitively returned to Austria, but without Rupertigau and Berchtesgaden, which remained with Bavaria. Salzburg was integrated into the Province of Salzach and Salzburgerland was ruled from Linz. In 1850, Salzburg's status was restored as the capital of the Duchy of Salzburg, a crownland of the Austrian Empire; the city became part of Austria-Hungary in 1866 as the capital of a crownland of the Austrian Empire. The nostalgia of the Romantic Era led to increased tourism. In 1892, a funicular was installed to facilitate tourism to Hohensalzburg Fortress Following World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, it represented the residual German-speaking territories of the Austrian heartlands; this was replaced by the First Austrian Republic after the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The Anschluss took place on 12 March 1938, one day before a scheduled referendum on Austria's independence. German troops moved into the city. Political opponents, Jewish citizens and other minorities were subsequently arrested and deported to concentration camps; the synagogue was destroyed. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, several POW camps for prisoners from the Soviet Union and other enemy nations were organized in the city. During the Nazi occupation, a Romani camp was built in Salzburg-Maxglan, it was an Arbeitserziehungslager. It operated as a Zwischenlager, holding Roma before their deportation to German extermination camps or ghettos in German-occupied territories in eastern Europe. Allied bombing killed 550 inhabitants. Fifteen air strikes destroyed 46 percent of the city's buildings those a
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length of 74 kilometres, it is the fourth largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge; the Neva is the only river flowing from Lake Ladoga. It flows through the city of Saint Petersburg, three smaller towns of Shlisselburg and Otradnoye, dozens of settlements; the river is navigable throughout and is part of the Volga–Baltic Waterway and White Sea – Baltic Canal. It is a site of numerous major historical events, including the Battle of the Neva in 1240 which gave Alexander Nevsky his name, the founding of Saint Petersburg in 1703, the Siege of Leningrad by the German army during World War II; the area of Neva river was inhabited by Finnic people. In Finnic languages the word neva has wide spread with similar meanings. In Finnish it means poor fen, in Estonian waterway, it has been argued that the name derives from Indo-European adjective newā which means new.
The river came to exist in 1350 BC. However, the place names of the area doesn`t support any Indo-European influence in the area before Scandinavian traders and Slavs started to enter the region in 8th Century. In the Paleozoic, 300–400 million years ago, the entire territory of the modern delta of the Neva River was covered by a sea. Modern relief was formed as a result of glacier activity, its retreat formed the Littorina Sea, the water level of, some 7 to 9 metres higher than the present level of the Baltic Sea. The Tosna River was flowing in the modern bed of the Neva, from east to west into the Litorinal Sea. In the north of the Karelian Isthmus, the Littorina Sea united by a wide strait with Lake Ladoga; the Mga River flowed to the east, into Lake Ladoga, near the modern source of the Neva River. Near the modern Lake Ladoga, land rose faster, a closed reservoir was formed, its water level began to rise flooded the valley of Mga and broke into the valley of the river Tosna. The Ivanovo rapids of the modern Neva were created in the breakthrough area.
So about 2000 BC the Neva was created with Mga. According to some newer data, it happened at 1410–1250 BC making the Neva a rather young river; the valley of Neva is formed by glacial and post-glacial sediments and it did not change much over the past 2500 years. The delta of Neva was formed at that time, pseudodelta, as it was formed not by accumulation of river material but by plunging into the past sediments; the Neva flows out of Lake Ladoga near Shlisselburg, flows through the Neva Lowland and discharges into the Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Finland. It has a length of 74 kilometres, the shortest distance from the source to the mouth is 45 kilometres; the river banks are steep, on average about 3 to 6 metres and 2 to 3 metres at the mouth. There are three sharp turns: the Ivanovskye rapids, at Nevsky Forest Park of the Ust-Slavyanka region and near the Smolny Institute, below the mouth of the river Ohta; the river declines 4.27 metres in elevation between mouth. At one point the river forms the Ivanovskye rapids.
There, at the beginning of the rapids, is the narrowest part of the river: 210 metres. The average flow rate in the rapids is about 0.8–1.1 metres per second. The average width along the river is 400 to 600 metres; the widest places, at 1,000 to 1,250 metres, are in the delta, near the gates of the marine trading port, at the end of the Ivanovskye rapids near the confluence of the river Tosna, near the island Fabrinchny near the source. The average depth is 8 to 11 metres. In the area of Neva basin, rainfall exceeds evaporation. Since 1859, the largest volume of 116 cubic kilometres was observed in 1924 and the lowest in 1900 at 40.2 cubic kilometres. The average annual discharge is 2,500 cubic metres per second on average; because of the uniform water-flow from Lake Ladoga to the Neva over the whole year, there are no floods and corresponding water rise in the spring. The Neva freezes throughout from early December to early April; the ice thickness is 0.3 to 0.4 metres within 0.5 to 0.6 metres in other areas.
Ice congestion may form in winter in the upper reaches of the river, this sometimes causes upstream floods. Of the total ice volume of Lake Ladoga, 10.6 cubic kilometres, less than 5 percent enters the Neva. The average summer water temperature is 17 to 20 °C, the swimming season lasts only about 1.5 months. The water is fresh, with medium turbidity; the basin area of Neva is 5,000 km ², including the pools of Lake Onega. The basin contains 26,300 lakes and has a complex hydrological network of more than 48,300 rivers, however only 26 flow directly into Neva; the main tributaries are Mga, Izhora and Murzinka on the left, Okhta and Chernaya River on the right side of Neva. The hyd
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The second-largest art museum in the world, it was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky; the museum celebrates the anniversary of its founding each year on 7 December, Saint Catherine's Day. It has been open to the public since 1852, its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are part of the museum; the museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property.
Since July 1992, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky. Of the six buildings in the main museum complex, five—namely the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre—are open to the public; the entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia and Belarus. However, entrance is free of charge the third Thursday of every month for all visitors, free daily for students and children; the museum is closed on Mondays. The entrance for individual visitors is located in the Winter Palace, accessible from the Courtyard. A hermitage is the dwelling of a recluse; the word derives from Old French hermit, ermit "hermit, recluse", from Late Latin eremita, from Greek eremites "people who live alone", in turn derived from ἐρημός, "desert". The building was given this name because of its exclusivity - in its early days, only few people were allowed to visit; the only building housing the collection was the "Small Hermitage".
Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. Apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now includes the "Old Hermitage", the "New Hermitage", the "Hermitage Theatre", the "Winter Palace", the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square facing the Winter Palace, the Menshikov Palace; the Western European Art collection includes European paintings and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed, on the first and second floor of the four main buildings. Drawings and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions. Since 1940, the Egyptian collection, dating back to 1852 and including the former Castiglione Collection, has occupied a large hall on the ground floor in the eastern part of the Winter Palace, it serves as a passage to the exhibition of Classical Antiquities. A modest collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including a number of Assyrian reliefs from Babylon, Dur-Sharrukin and Nimrud, is located in the same part of the building.
The collection of classical antiquities occupies most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. The interiors of the ground floor were designed by German architect Leo von Klenze in the Greek revival style in the early 1850s, using painted polished stucco and columns of natural marble and granite. One of the largest and most notable interiors of the first floor is the Hall of Twenty Columns, divided into three parts by two rows of grey monolithic columns of Serdobol granite, intended for the display of Graeco-Etruscan vases, its floor is made of a modern marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, while the stucco walls and ceiling are covered in painting. The Room of the Great Vase in the western wing features the 2.57 m high Kolyvan Vase, weighing 19 t, made of jasper in 1843 and installed before the walls were erected. While the western wing was designed for exhibitions, the rooms on the ground floor in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage, now hosting exhibitions, were intended for libraries.
The floor of the Athena Room in the south-eastern corner of the building, one of the original libraries, is decorated with an authentic 4th-century mosaic excavated in an early Christian basilica in Chersonesos in 1854. The collection of classical antiquities features Greek artifacts from the third millennium – fifth century BC, ancient Greek pottery, items from the Greek cities of the North Pontic Greek colonies, Hellenistic sculpture and jewellery, including engraved gems and cameos, such as the famous Gonzaga Cameo, Italic art from the 9th to second century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the first century BC - fourth century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures. One of the highlights of the collection is the Tauride Venus, according to latest research, is an original Hellenistic Greek sculpture rather than a Roman copy as it was thought before. There are, only a few pieces of authentic Classical Greek sculpture and sepulchral monuments.
On the ground floor in the western wing of the Winter Palace the collections of prehistoric artifacts and the culture and art of the Caucasus are located, as well as the second treasure gallery. The prehistoric artifacts date from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture