The Hermitage

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The courage and devotion to scholarship of its curators have helped the museum survive the terrible trials of the twentieth century. This book tells the story of the exile, imprisonment and execution of many staff during Stalin's purges, and extremities of hunger during the siege of Leningrad - when 2,000 people lived in a makeshift bomb shelter in the museum cellars. In one of its most fascinating chapters it also reveals the extraordinary tale of the booty plundered from private and public collections that found their way into the museum. With the 1990s has come a new battle, as the Hermitage struggles to survive amidst the economic chaos of post-Communist Russia. The Hermitage is the first full history of this great museum in any language.

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