Hermitage Museum and AMO Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Define the 21st-Century Museum

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands, November 1 (ots/PRNewswire) - Today the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) and the think tank AMO, part of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), have officially agreed to pursue a collaborative study of the future of the 21st-Century museum. The joint effort will be to define the Hermitage as a new prototype for the museum in the 21st-Century.

    On the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to the Netherlands, Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage, and Rem Koolhaas, partner of AMO/OMA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding this morning in Amsterdam. The project is expected to begin in early 2006.

    The enormity of the Hermitage's collection combined with its extensive number of rooms has created a scale, complexity and an organisation that approaches urbanism. For this reason, the Hermitage and AMO will develop, as part of the study, a Curatorial Master Plan, which will focus on the intersection between the needs to modernize and to preserve the museum's approach to art and historic preservation.

    Both parties intend to finance the project through public and private funding sources. A fundraising campaign is already under way to realize the project.

    In the recent past, many museums have modernized through architectural extensions. The basis of this joint study will be to address the need of the museum to explore other means of change that do not  threaten the history of its buildings but instead preserve their  architectural integrity.

    Of all the world-class museums, the Hermitage sustains the largest collection, and the largest number of exhibitions. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded its reach with satellite spaces outside Russia, including in Amsterdam and London. AMO has been a consultant to the Hermitage in its pursuits of an extension in St. Petersburg (the General Staff Building), and OMA has been the architect for the satellite space shared with the Guggenheim Foundation in Las Vegas (USA). The pursuit of this new project will be a continuation of this longstanding partnership between the Hermitage and AMO/OMA.

    On AMO:

    AMO, OMA's sister company, is a think tank that operates in areas beyond the boundaries of architecture and urbanism - including sociology, technology, media and politics.

    It is expected that this collaboration with the Hermitage will comprise a significant portion of AMO's work in the upcoming year. In addition to the State Hermitage Museum, AMO is working for the fashion house Prada. In 2004, AMO produced "The Image of Europe," an exhibition, sponsored by the Dutch Presidency and European Commission. AMO's resume includes work for Universal Studios, Schiphol Group, Harvard University, Condé Nast, Volkswagen, Heineken and Ikea.

ots Originaltext: AMO
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