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Culture news, 21.05.2003 13:23

The Hermitage opened a virtual academy

The emblem from the official web site of the Hermitage The Virtual Academy of the Hermitage was opened in St. Petersburg. At the press conference held in the Hermitage Theater, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage, said that the project had been implemented together with the company IBM Eastern Europe and Asia and was devoted to the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. “This is a unique project not only for Russia. Nothing of this kind has ever been in the world,” - said Mikhail Piotrovsky.

Three training courses have been prepared for the opening of the Virtual Academy of the Hermitage. The course “Ancient Egypt”, the most comprehensive one, includes information on geography, history, religion, architecture and scripts of Ancient Egypt for the period of three thousand years. The course “Times of Knights” consists of two parts: “History of Knights. War” and “Arms of Ancient Europe”. The course “Winter Palace - Residence of Russian Emperors” tells about the history of the Winter Palace and various aspects of life in the residence of Russian Emperors.

According to Mikhail Piotrovsky, the courses are “for the general public from 8 to 80 years of age”, mainly for school children, students, teachers and everybody who studies history of art. The Virtual Academy is available at the official Wen site of the Hermitage in the part “Education and Training”. The courses were prepared by researchers of the Hermitage and the Training Center of IBM Eastern Europe and Asia. The courses are based on the exhibits of the Hermitage and are presented in Russian and in English. It took more than a year to prepare this project. All equipment and software were given to the Hermitage by IBM.

According to Andrei Zelenkov, a representative of IBM Eastern Europe and Asia, it would be possible to copy informational resources from the Web site only after prior written approval of the administration of the Hermitage. “Nobody will forbid you to use these pictures for your personal needs,” - says Andrei Zelenkov. - As for bog illustrations, they have special water marks which will permit to detect unauthorized copying”.

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