LF 9½ starts in

8.1. Exchange of Cultural Values Between Russia and the United States. Restored?

Track: 8. Culture. Education


Mikhail Piotrovsky

Director, The State Hermitage Museum


Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1944. His father, Boris Borisovich Piotrovsky, an eminent archaeologist, was director of the State Hermitage Museum from 1964 to 1990.

In 1967 Mikhail Piotrovsky graduated with honours from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, with the degree in Arabic philology, in 1967. He also interned for Cairo University from 1965 to 1966. In 1967–1991 he worked in the Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies, where he defended his candidate’s (1973) and doctorate (1985) dissertations. In 1991 he was invited to join the Hermitage as a deputy director for research. In July 1992 Mikhail Piotrovsky was appointed director of the State Hermitage by government decree.

He has taken part in archaeological excavations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Yemen. He is the author of more than 200 papers, including catalogues of Arabic manuscripts, publication of medieval works and ancient inscriptions, works on the spiritual and political history of Islam and Arab culture and on the archaeology of Arabia. His publications include a series of articles on Muslim mythology in the Myths of the Peoples of the World encyclopaedia, a series of articles about the Prophet Muhammad and monographs The Legend of the Himyarite King Asad al-Kamil (Moscow, 1977; Arabic translations: Sanaa, Damascus, Aden, 1978, 1979); Southern Arabia in the Early Middle Ages (Moscow, 1985); Yemen before Islam and in the First Century of the Hijra (Beirut, 1987); Qur’anic Tales (Moscow, 1991); Islam. An Encyclopaedic Reference Book (Moscow, 1991, co-author); The Hermitage. Collections and Collectors (St Petersburg, 1997); Earthly Art – Heavenly Beauty. The Art of Islam (St Petersburg, 2000); On Islamic Art (St Petersburg, 2001), “The Hermitage” in the Great Museums of the World series (Slovo, Moscow, 2003), Historical Legends of Qur’an (St Petersburg, 2005), Muslim Art. Between China and Europe (St Petersburg, 2008), Looking Out of the Hermitage (St Petersburg, 2009), Description of Two Holy Places. Futuh al-Haramain (St Petersburg, 2011). Mikhail Piotrovsky is an author and a host of Moi Ermitazh TV programme (250 episodes).

He is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of its Presidium; full member of the Russian Academy of Arts, member of the Presidential Council for Art, Culture, Science and Education; professor of St Petersburg State University, where he heads the departments of Museology and Heritage Protection, and Ancient East; dean of Eastern Faculty; foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, member of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan; Dr.h.c. of Kazan State University, Saratov State University and Saratov Socio-Economic Institute; chairman of the Union of Museums in Russia, president of the Worldwide Club of St Petersburgers, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the European University in St Petersburg; corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute; editor-in-chief of the Khristianski Vostok magazine; chairman of the St Petersburg branch of Russian Orthodox Palestine Society; president of St Petersburg Intelligentsia Congress, a regional social movement; co-chairman of the Russian Cultural Heritage Promotion and Support Council at Rossotrudnichestvo. Mikhail Piotrovsky is a member of the Council of Europe’s Exhibition Advisory Council.

He has been awarded the Order of Orange-Nassau (the Netherlands, 1996), Order of Honour (Russia, 1997), Order of the Legion of Honour (France, 1998, 2004), Order of the North Star (Sweden, 1999), Order of Merit to the Italian Republic (Italy, 2000, 2004), the Armenian Apostolic Church’s Order of St Mesrop Mashtots (2000), Order of Yaroslav the Wise (Ukraine, 2003), Order of Merit (Poland, 2004), Order of Merit for the Motherland (Russia, 2004, 2009), Al-Fahr Order (Council of Muftis of Russia, 2005), Order of the Finish Lion (Finland, 2005), Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (Japan, 2007), Silver Medal of Amsterdam (2009), Award of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (United States, 2009), Order of the Crown (Belgium, 2011), Anatoly Koni Medal (Russian Ministry of Justice, 2013), Order of Alexander Nevsky (2014), Cross of Honour for Science and Art (Austria, 2014), Order of Merit for the Republic of Tatarstan (2014), Order of Francis Skorina (Belarus, 2014), the Order Pro Merito Melitensi (Order of Malta, 2015).

In 2003 Mikhail Piotrovsky was awarded the President’s Prize for Art and Literature.

Winner of Skyline (“Nebesnaya liniya”) public award.

In 1997 the International Astronomical Union names a minor planet Piotrovsky in honour of both Mikhail Piotrovsky and his father Boris.

On May 25th, 2011, Mikhail Piotrovsky was named Honorary Citizen of St Petersburg.

Mr Piotrovsky is married with a son and a daughter.


Berndt Arell

Director General, Nationalmuseum Stockholm

Current position

Director General, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

Academic degree

Master of Arts - Art History

Professional experience (1999-2017)

Director, The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland

Museum Director, The Finnish National Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland

CEO, Chairman, Arts Council of Finland

Museum Director, Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland

Museum Director, Artistic Director, The Nordic Watercolor Museum, Skaerhamn, Sweden

Specialist area, professional interests

Monastic and Ecclesiastical Art

Achievements, rewards

Order of The Lion, Finland

Royal Order of the Polarstar, Sweden

Publications, scientific works (a selection)

Full house, American art from Guggenheim and Kiasma, 2010

Tom of Finland XXL, Taschen America, 2009

Tom of Finland, Unforseen, Like, 2006

Athos – Monastic life on the Holy Mountain. Maahenki. 2006

Saara Ekström: Seascape.(with Tuula Karjalainen) Exhibition catalogue, The Nordic Watercolor Museum 2000

Helene Schjerbeck – My Mother - Home. The Nordic Watercolor Museum and Ateneum 2000

Presentation Berndt Arell (short version)

Berndt Arell was appointed Director General of the government authority Nationalmuseum incorporating Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, in 2012.

Born in 1959 in Ekenäs, Finland, Berndt Arell holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland. He specializes in and has a profound knowledge of Monastic and Ecclesiastical Art. Berndt has had a long career as Museum Director at several institutions in Finland and Sweden, amongst them Ekenäs Museum, Finland, Turku Art Museum, the Nordic Arts Center, Helsinki, Helsinki City Art Museum and the Finnish National Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. He was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Arts Council of Finland in 2009 and was Director of the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland from 2010–2011.

David Bowker

Partner, WilmerHale

Marina Tsiguleva

Head of Legal Service, State Hermitage Museum


In 1985, she graduated from Faculty of Psychology, Leningrad State University, with a degree in Psychology.

In 1988–1991, she worked as a consulting psychologist.

In 1990, graduated from Institute for International Training in Psychotherapy – Samway Foundation Ltd. (Boston, USA).

In 1999 graduated from Law Faculty of Saint Petersburg State University with a degree in Legal Studies. Diploma with honours.

Since 1998 – chief legal counsel of the State Hermitage Legal Department.

Since 2006 – head of the State Hermitage Legal Department.

Since 2015 – member of the Research Advisory Board at the Intellectual Property Rights Court.

During her tenure at the State Hermitage, she provided legal support of such projects of the museum as Guggenheim Hermitage (Las Vegas, USA), Hermitage Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House (London, England), Hermitage Vyborg, Hermitage Kazan.

Task group member of cultural legislation committees of the Federal Assembly and State Duma.

Among her professional interests are intellectual property and particularly museum IP.

She has been twice awarded with the grants from the Potanin Charity Fund for her contribution to the development of the State Hermitage Museum: in 2005, for establishing the framework for a new legal system of the State Hermitage and in 2007, for organising an effective legal service amid the increased reputational risks.

In 2012, she participated in the II St Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker at a round table titled Legal Aspects of Exhibition Activities and Cultural Heritage Protection, where she made a report on the challenges Russian museums face when dealing with proprietary insurance of museum items on loan for foreign exhibitions.

In 2013, she participated in the III St Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker at a round table titled Legal Aspects of Problems of Sacrilege in Art with a report Do Museum Rights Need a Special Sacrilege Law?

In 2014, she participated in the IV St Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker at a round table titled Delphic Oracle or Subject of Law? Expert Analysis of Cultural Value Items: Setting up Legal Regulation of Relevant Issues.

In 2015, she participated in the V St Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker at a round table titled Legal Barriers to Access to the World Cultural Heritage. Is There a Solution?

In 2016, she participated in the V St Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker at a conference titled Sacred Space of the Museum. The Area of Culture.

Achievements and awards:
  • Order of Merit, 2nd class.
  • Best Legal Department in Art category (2015).
  • Letter of gratitude from the minister of justice of the Russian Federation for her contribution to strengthening international cooperation in justice.
  • Letter of gratitude from the Saint Petersburg City Administration, Central Region (2014).
  • Certificate of Merit of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (2012).

Vadim Volkov

Vice-Rector for Innovation, Professor of Sociology of Law S.A. Muromtseva, European University in St. Petersburg


Vadim Volkov is a vice-rector of the European University in St Petersburg, head of the Research Institute for the Rule of Law, professor.

He graduated from the Department of Economics of Zhdanov Leningrad State University; received his M.A. and PhD from Cambridge University (Great Britain) and has a Doctor of Sciences degree in Sociology.

Mr Volkov worked as dean of the European University and Higher School of Economics, as well as vice-rector for foreign relations of the European University. Taught as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago. Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin. He is a member of the Expert Board under the Government of the Russian Federation, Council for Science under the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (2014–2016) and working group of the Economic Council under the president of the Russian Federation.

Author of the book Silovoe predprinimatel’stvo: economico-sociologichesky analiz (“Violent Entrepreneurship: Socio-Economic Analysis”), co-author of the books Teoria praktik (“Theory of Practices”) and Rossiyskie sud’yi: sociologichesky analiz professii (“Russian Judges: a Social Analysis of the Profession”). For the past five to seven years, Mr Volkov has been heading research and publishing academic articles in the field of empirical analysis of law and law enforcement.