6.1. Culture Act: the Art of Law

Wednesday, May 16
10:00 - 11:30

Lecture hall, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)


When the Presidential Council on Culture and the Arts met in December 2017, President Vladimir Putin urged the Council members to contribute more vigorously to the drafting of the new culture bill.

Mikhail Shvydkoi, the ad hoc presidential envoy for international cultural liaison, noted then that the drafting of this new legislation is a critically important task, and that neither the Duma, nor any agencies are able to come up with such a draft culture bill that would satisfy everyone - the lawmakers, the professional community and, last but not least, the citizens of Russia.

It is this impossibility of letting the draft bill be conceived in the minds of the lawmakers and government officials alone that renders the subject-matter of our roundtable here, at the SPBILF, so self-evidently relevant at this time. In the forthcoming discussion between the representatives of culture and the arts, it is important that we define the new ground, on which the interfaces are to be built between the state and culture, articulate the principle of non-interference by the state in the affairs of culture, and think about how to mesh non-interference with professional responsibility.

Culture is not a set of services. To standardize the legal regulation of nuanced problems, arising in this particular sphere, without properly heeding the specifics of the trade, is not a good tactic and it won’t work. And these problems arise for the institutions of culture precisely in the pursuit of their chartered activity in all its manifestations.  

In this discussion, we plan to address the need to enact amendments to both cross-industry and more specific legislation, including the laws on purchasing, to reflect a well-reasoned stance of all the branches of government, taking into account international good practice in the legal regulation of culture.

Culture is dialogue between man and his time. Therefore, the proposed discussion, while targeting the professional communities associated with culture and jurisprudence, should be of interest to a broader audience of legal professionals who realize the importance of allowing culture to thrive within a proper legal framework.


Mikhail Piotrovskiy

General Director, The State Hermitage Museum


Education, academic degree:

1961-1967 — Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, specializing in Arabic Studies.

1965-1966 — Cairo University.

1985 — Doctor of Historical Sciences.

Professional experience:

1967-1991 — Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies.

1991-1992 — State Hermitage, first deputy director with responsibility for research work.

1992 to present — Director of the State Hermitage.

Achievements, rewards:

Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Full member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

Corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute.

Deputy chairman of the President’s Council for Art and Culture.

Professor of St. Petersburg State University.

Chairman of the Union of Museums in Russia.

President of the Worldwide Club of St. Petersburgers.

Chairman of the board of the European University in St Petersburg.

Editor-in-chief of the magazine The Christian Orient.


the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau (1996).

the Russian Order of Honour (1997).

the French Order of the Legion of Honour (1998, 2004).

the Swedish Order of the Polar Star (1999).

the Order for Merit to the Italian Republic (2000, 2004).

the Armenian Apostolic Church’s Order of St Mesrop (2000).

the Ukrainian Order of Yaroslav the Wise (2003).

the Order “Of Service” (Poland, 2004).

the Order of Service to the Fatherland (Russia, 2004).

the Award of the Council’s of Muftis of Russia — the Al-Fahr Order of Honour (2005).

Order of the Finish Lion (2005).

the International Prize of St. Andrew “for Faith and Loyalty” (2005).

the Order of the Rising Sun.

Gold and Silver Star (Japan, 2007).

the Silver Medal of Amsterdam (2009).

the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service (United States, 2009).

the annual Golden Bridge prize (Italy, 2010).

In 1997 a minor planet was named “Piotrovsky” by the International Astronomical Union in joint honour of Mikhail B.Piotrovsky and his father Boris B.Piotrovsky.

On May 25th, 2011, the Director of the State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail B.Piotrovsky was awarded the title of Honoured Citizen of Saint Petersburg.

Publications, scientific works:

Dr. Piotrovsky is the author of more than 200 scholarly works, including catalogues of Arabic manuscripts, the publication of mediaeval 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 set of entries on Muslim mythology in the encyclopedia Myths of the Peoples of the World, a series of articles about the prophet Muhammad and the 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); Koranic Tales (Moscow, 1991); Islam. An Encyclopedic 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), The Historical Legends of Quran. A Word and an Image (St Petersburg, 2005).


Jean-Christophe Barbato

Professor of Public Law, University of Nantes

  1. Professor of Public law, University of Nantes
  2. Specialist area, professional interests: EU law, cultural law, fundamntunal rights
  3. Achievements, rewards: Jean Monnet Chair in EU law
  4. Publications, scientific works: Most of my works are about cultural and EU law. Here is the list of my last publications:


L’Union européenne, Fédération plurinationale en devenir ?, Jean-Christophe Barbato et Yves Petit (dir.) , éd. Bruylant, Coll. Droit de l’Union européenne, 2015, 432p.

Européanisation et internationalisation du droit des musées, Jean-Christophe Barbato et Clémentine Bories Fontana-Giusti (dir.) éd. Pédone, 2017, 220p.



 La nature de l’Union européenne envisagée du point de vue de l’Etat membre » in S. Roland et M-C. Runavot (dir.), actes du colloque La nature juridico-politique de l’Union européenne, Annuaire de droit européen, 2014, pp. 125-144.

 « Les effets des interventions européennes sur la diversité culturelle » in C. Romainville (dir.), European law and cultural policies/droit européen et politiques culturelles, Peter Lang, 2015,  pp.169-190.

 « Union européenne et patrimoine monumental » in M. Le Roux (dir.), Crise et patrimoine monumental, l’Harmattan, coll. Droit du patrimoine culturel et naturel, 2015, pp. 65-79 .

 Le multilinguisme dans l'Union européenne (dir.), RAE n° 2016/3, pp. 333-463.

Mariya Melnikova

Adviser to the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation

Natalya Romashova

Director of Law Department, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

Aleksandr Sholokhov

Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for Culture

Lev Sundstrem

Head of the Department of Producers of Performing Arts, Russian State Institute of Performing Arts

Marina Tsyguleva

Head of Legal Department, State Hermitage Museum

* The Programme may be subject to change