When the Volunteer Service at the State Hermitage was founded in 2003, the museum began the tradition of celebrating International Volunteer Day.
Every year on 5 December, the museum honors its gracious helpers by presenting them with a celebratory program.
This year, the event was held in the Restoration-Storage Center “Staraya Derevnya.” At the beginning of the ceremony, volunteers warmly acknowledged the deputy director of the State Hermitage V.U. Matveev, who has curated and supported the volunteer service program since its inception at the Hermitage. In his speech, Director of the Historico-Informational service, Iu.Z. Kantor called the volunteers the museum’s “Ministry of Special Occasions.” In the spring of 2015, the museum instituted a separate department for volunteer work with M.Iu. Kozhukhovsky at its head. The speakers also thanked the ceremony’s honorees for their help in the realization of the numerous special projects during 2015.
The Restoration-Storage Centre gave the volunteers an exciting excursion in two languages. At the culmination of the ceremony, the best volunteers of 2015, representing more than 10 countries, were given awards. They each received certificates and commemorative gifts.
On the threshold of the New Year and as an introduction to 2016 as the Year of Film in Russia, a selection of short films showing the Hermitage through the eyes of its volunteers were presented to the volunteers and other guests of the event, among them volunteer organizations from Moscow. Volunteers in different countries had sent in recorded video-messages with congratulations and warm wishes in several languages that were also played at the celebration.
In addition to the amazing jazz atmosphere provided by the concert put together by Evgeny Solovyev, Liubov Ivanova prepared delicious Bashkir national dishes.