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Culture news, 09.04.2004 12:06

New Hermitage's Hall of Twenty Columns reopens following reconstruction

New Hermitage's Hall of Twenty Columns The New Hermitage's Hall of Twenty Columns, a remarkable example of interior design for museums dating from the first half of the 19th century, was ceremoniously reopened this week.The Hall of Twenty Columns was created by the architect of the New Hermitage Leo von Klenz, who was a leading theoretician of museum construction at the time. The hall was intended for display of antique vases and the architect especially designed for it cases and table surfaces that were manufactured in the factories of P. G. Gambs, A.I. Tur, and E. A. Miller. The walls of the hall were decorated with painted panels on subjects taken from the frescoes in Etruscan burial chambers that were discovered not long before the construction of the building and which inspired the imagination of architect Leo von Klenz. The design of the mosaic floor is reminiscent of antique patterns. Both the architecture and the interior decoration of the hall recreate for the visitor an artistic image of a gracious ancient temple.

In the course of the restoration work the wall painting was cleaned; the pigment layer of the painting and the plaster foundation were both strengthened. The mosaic floo, made in the Petershof lapidary works in 1851 according to a design prepared by Leo von Klenz, has also been restored.

The restoration of the Hall of Twenty Columns is one more way in which the150th anniversary of the New Hermitage's building is being observed.

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