Saint-Petersburg 6 July 2010 - The State Russian Museum announced today that it raised over RUB 4,800,000 (US$ 160,000) at its first ever private fund raising event, a gala dinner hosted by the First Lady of Iceland at St Petersburg’s Marble Palace on July 2.
Guests at the gala dinner included members of the Museum’s International Advisory Board, a panel of leaders drawn from the worlds of the arts, business and politics who advise the Museum; local dignitaries; and prominent business people from across Russia. The guests wined and dined in the fabulous setting of the Marble Palace, which was built in the late 1700’s by Antonio Rinaldi and presented by Catherine the Great to Count Orlov.
The event was hosted by Ms Dorrit Moussaieff, the First Lady of Iceland and a member of the Museum’s International Advisory Board, and Mr. Vladimir Gusev, Director of the State Russian Museum.
The fundraiser was the first effort in a longer term initiative outlined and approved by the Executive Committee of the State Russian Museum’s International Advisory Board to double the percentage of Museum income over the next five years through private fundraising efforts and increase the Museum’s income from other sources, thereby reducing its reliance on the public budget for funds. This initiative is part of a recently developed plan for the Museum to engage in a detailed program to globally build the brand and awareness of the State Russian Museum and its rich collection of art.
Ms Moussaieff said: “Working closely with Mr. Gusev and the staff of the Museum, the International Advisory Board has developed a bold plan to promote the State Russian Museum, the unrivaled treasures in its collection, and promote Russian art and culture internationally. Events such as last Friday’s magical evening will ensure that the costs of those efforts are borne primarily by the Museum’s benefactors and the private sector, as opposed to using public funds. I am pleased and encouraged by the results of this first step and look forward to working with the Museum on future initiatives.”
Mr. Gusev said: “I would like to thank Ms Moussaieff and the other members of the International Advisory Board, the corporate sponsors of the evening, Morgan Stanley, Christie’s, British Airways and Roland Berger; all of the guests and other participants that helped make the evening such a success. Private funding for the Museum will help us secure our past and future heritage as well as promote the Museum and Russian art around the world.”
Eight members of the International Advisory Board travelled to St Petersburg this week to attend the gala dinner, including:
- Mrs. Yoshiko Mori, Chairperson of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo;
- Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman of the Environment Agency for England and Wales, former Secretary of State for Culture in the UK from 1997 to 2001
- Mr. John Leighton, Director-General, National Museums of Scotland;
- Princess Irina Strozzi;
- Mr. Pierre Rosenberg, Member of the Academie Francaise and Honorary Director of the Musee du Louvre