Interview with director of the Hermitage Piotrovski B.V.

-Has something commemorating the last days of the Emperor and his family`s life here remained in the Hermitage?
-Owing to the fact that during the Great Patriotic War the Hermitage happened not to be damaged, the atmosphere of the past remains and we can`t help being aware of the spirits of those who lived here as well as the Emperor`s family although Nicholas II hardly ever lived in the Winter Palace during the last years of the Empire. Unfortunately most of the archives are lacking but anyway theroyal things and books have remained. As the Hermitage staff we are devoted to these people not only historically. -Were there any gifts, books, or rarities presented by the descendants of the Romanov dynasty? -We haven`t received any particular gifts, but the Romanovs often visit us. It`s possible that certain relics will be given to the Hermitage some time in future. This agreement has already been made with the members of the Romanov House so the section " History of the Emperial Guard"which us being planned, will have priceless exhibits.

-On July,17 the ceremony of the burial of the Emperor and his family will take place in Saint-Peters burg.Do you think the state commission passed the proper resolution?
-You know, I wouldn`t like to consider the commission decision because this is the very resolution to be passed by the government, which has been done. So taking into account its logicality the only thing we can do is to accept it.
-Is Saint-Petersburg ready for the ceremony?
-I`m sure about it because the ceremony is going to be solemn, not showy or pompous. I think this ceremony may be called "Funeral in Saint- Petersburg style."
Reported by Dmitry Ivanov