After the April 3 subway bombing in Saint Petersburg that killed fourteen people, Russia’s State Hermitage Museum has decided to increase its security by brokering a deal with Russia’s new national guard, Rosgvardia, created by President Vladimir Putin last year, writes Sophia Kishkovsky of the Art Newspaper. In a statement posted to its Facebook account yesterday, the museum said, “All visitors are being inspected, which surely might cause inconvenience for the museum’s guests.”
The Hermitage’s general director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, said that guards paid for by the state will return to the museum after budget cuts were made in 2015, affecting museums all over Russia. Meanwhile, the institution’s deputy director, Mikhail Novikov, is currently under house arrest in connection with charges of fraud.
Smaller Russian arts venues and exhibitions were often vandalized or shut down by right-wing factions last year, though larger institutions, for the most part, remained safe. From August 1 to September 30, the Hermitage reported that it dealt with twenty false bomb alarms due to bags, strollers, and packages that were left untended.