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Museum cleanup. The Hermitage is getting prepared for the start of the tourist season

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Actor Konstantin Habenskiy will become the mystical tour guide in a movie about the Hermitage. The film is being made in a VR format, meaning that a spectator can put on special goggles and be able to see a 360° panorama - creating the full presence effect. But for the time being, the country’s main museum is occupied with traditional concerns. The general cleanup ahead of the tourist season has begun. And making sure the Hermitage is ready it's not an easy task. Maybe with the details

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Anna Bezkrovnaya, reporter: “The cleanup at the Hermitage is a task done strictly according to the schedule. The marble and the gold plates of Jordanian staircase have been waiting for this moment for six months. Reaching the sculptures and the gold plates is not an easy task. Only well-qualified people are able to do that

For one day, the main staircase of the Zimniy Palace gets covered in scaffoldings. Specialists wearing uniforms and helmets climb up to the statues. The works are held all throughout the day – from early morning until late in the evening.

Svetlana Spiridonova, head of mechanized tools department at the Hermitage: “Boys go up very high and clean the dust from top to bottom. They wash the mirrors. And those sculptures and gold plates require special attention. All this is historic material, items on display, gold. You wouldn't want to tamper with it for no reason

While specialists climb up to these sculptures only once in several months, the Prometheus and Apoxiomen at the adjoining gallery get cleaned much more often. There is a general cleanup at the Hermitage every Monday

Olga Pozdnyakova, head of sculptures servicing department at the Hermitage: “A sculpture can be cleaned of dust only with the vacuum cleaner. You cannot touch it with anything else. So that the marble stays unharmed. A wet clean up can only be done with the half-wet cloth, and only on the pedestal. I sculpture cannot be touched by anything else

The marble floor is being cleaned with the detergent. Thousands of visitors walk on it every day, and you just cannot do without a proper washing

There are eight machines cleaning the floor at the Hermitage. There are even tools with diamond coating for special occasions. But those are used extremely rarely. Because in attempts to clean up the museum, the main thing is not putting way too much effort

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