On 4 March 2013 - Vladimir Gusev, General Director of the Russian State Museum, Gennady Timchenko, Chairman of the Economic Council of French and Russian Businesses of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR), and Andrei Filatov, member of the CCIFR Economic Council of French and Russian Businesses, signed an agreement to provide support to the State Russian Museum's programmes and projects aimed at preserving Russia's cultural heritage and promoting Russian art abroad.

Under the agreement with the State Russian Museum the businessmen will support the museum's education and research work, as well as develop cooperation programmes with art museums in Russia and leading museums around the world to spread knowledge of the history of Russian culture and art.

The cooperation with the State Russian Museum follows other projects aimed at supporting and promoting Russian art among international audiences. On 13 February 2013, Gennady Timchenko and Andrei Filatov signed an agreement with the Louvre Museum to support the expansion of the Louvre's collection in the area of Russian art. Under this agreement the biggest museum in France will add Russian masterpieces to its collection and will embark on creating a permanent dedicated gallery. Before the agreement, the Louvre's collection only included a series of ancient Russian icons, while Russian art was not represented in the museum's permanent exhibition.

"Russian art continues to be news, a discovery for the western audience. It is capable of changing perceptions of Russia and of Russian people and serves as a stimulus for new ideas. I'm glad that our help to the Russian Museum will assist this dialogue, and I believe that the only way for culture to develop is through contact with other people and through getting to know others' experience," said Gennady Timchenko, Chairman of the Economic Council of French and Russian Businesses of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR).


Additional information:

The State Russian Museum, the country's first state museum of Russian fine arts, was founded in 1895 in St. Petersburg by decree of Emperor Nicholas II. It was officially opened to visitors on 19 March (7 March by the old calendar) 1898.

Today the Russian Museum is a unique repository of artistic treasures, a famous centre of restoration, a prestigious research institute, one of the biggest centres of cultural education work, and the research supervision centre for the Russian Federation's art museums, overseeing the work of 260 art museums in Russia.

The Russian museum's collection currently includes over 400,000 exhibits and covers all historical periods and development trends of Russian art, all main types and genres, areas and schools over more than 1,000 years (from the tenth to the twenty-first century). The main exhibition is housed in the Mikhailovsky Palace and the Benoit Building, which forms part of the palace ensemble.

The Russian Museum undertakes a wide range of exhibition work across Russia and other countries. Each year the museum hosts up to 50 temporary exhibitions, and up to 10 both in Russian cities and abroad. Catalogues, albums and booklets prepared by the Russian Museum's research staff are published to accompany many exhibitions.

In addition to the Mikhailovsky Palace, the Benoit Building and the Rossi Wing, the museum complex includes the Marble Palace and the Stroganov Palace, the Mikhailovsky (Engineering) Castle, as well as unique garden and park ensembles - the Summer Garden and Summer Palace of Peter I and the Mikhailovsky Garden.

The Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR) is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to develop economic cooperation between France and Russia and to undertake joint socially significant projects.

Gennady Timchenko has been Chairman of the Economic Council of French and Russian Businesses of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR) since December 2011. His family has been involved in charitable work both in Russia and abroad for more than 20 years. The Key Foundation, which works to help families with adopted children, was set up in 2007. The Neva Foundation was founded in 2008 in Geneva to support scientific and cultural cooperation projects between Russia and Western Europe. The Ladoga Charitable Foundation was created in 2010 to support the older generation, children's sport and the revival of Russian spirituality.