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Presentation of the temporary security checkpoint in an arch of the Main Gate of the Winter Palace

On 19 June 2023, the new security checkpoint module for monitoring visitors entering the Hermitage from Palace Square was presented.


Taking part in the event were representatives of the national security, defence and law enforcement agencies and Saint Petersburg city authorities, the Hermitage administration and staff. Welcome speeches were given by Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage, and Mikhail Silnikov, General Director of the company NPO Spetsmaterialov.

“The splendid security checkpoint module is a very important event in our extensive work to protect the Hermitage collections and, of course, the museum itself. It is incredibly difficult to protect such a facility! We’re grateful to the Special Materials Works, to Mikhail Silnikov personally and the whole team, that it has proved possible to implement everything. With the support of the Etalon group, we have been working with the best companies, the best defence enterprises that have created this module for us. It is a major step in our technical development,” Mikhail Piotrovsky commented. In conclusion, he thanked Lieutenant General Alexei Vorobyov, commander of the North-Western District of the National Guard of Russia and also, in his person, the National Guard personnel for impeccable service on the museum’s premises.

“It is an honour for us to implement this project for the Hermitage. We exerted every effort to make it as functional and convenient as possible. Some quite serious arguments and all manner of discussion lay behind the creation of each element in this checkpoint facility. It was necessary to make provision for a large number of systems, some of which are integrated into the Hermitage’s security system. A project of tremendous complexity that we managed to make a reality,” Mikhail Silnikov said.

The security checkpoint takes the form of a module with a floor area of 160 square metres that in case of need can be disassembled and put back together without damaging the façades of the palace. The checkpoint complex consists of the main room, entrance zones, exit ways and subsidiary rooms. Heating, air conditioning, ventilation and fire-alarm systems, mean that a comfort and safety within the module are ensured.

The module is equipped with the latest monitoring devices – from x-ray scanners for the inspection of hand luggage and portal metal-detectors to video-monitoring systems with facial recognition capabilities. The organization of a temporary security checkpoint within an arch of the Main Gate of the Winter Palace is intended to accomplish the monitoring of visitors directly at the entrance to the premises, guarding against forbidden articles being brought into the museum.

The module was inspected by Lieutenant General Alexei Vorobyov, Commander of the North-Western District of the National Guard; Police Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Artyushenko, Head of the Department of External Security for the city’s Petrograd District; Andrei Yermakov, Head of the administration of the Russian Ministry of Culture for the North-Western Federal District; Feodor Boltin, Chairman of the Saint Petersburg Committee for Culture; Gennady Scherbina, President of the Etalon Group; Mikhail Margelov, Vice President of AFK Sistema; representatives of the Federal Security Service administration for Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region; Georgy Vilinbakhov, Deputy General Director of the State Hermitage for Research; Svetlana Adaksina, Deputy General Director for Inventory and Storage; Alexei Bogdanov, Deputy General Director for Operations; Alexander Prokhorenko, Deputy General Director for General Affairs; Alexander Khozhainov, Head of the museum’s Security Service, and his deputy Alexei Subarnov; as well as personnel from the Hermitage Security Service and the battalion of the National Guard.

Now, when the museum is encountering an ever-increasing amount of threats, the demands of security are coming to the fore. Previously security monitoring of visitors entering the Main Museum Complex from Palace Square was carried out inside the museum. The idea of locating the security checkpoint module directly in front of the main entrance arose due to an overdue need to monitor and inspect visitors before they reach the cloakrooms and entrance zone.

The temporary security checkpoint in an arch of the Main Gate of the Winter Palace began operating on 20 June 2023. The module has provision for visitors with restricted mobility and those with pacemakers (who can request manual screening by presenting an appropriate document). The module has sufficient capacity to cope with a large flow of visitors.

In June 2023, the Hermitage security checkpoint module will be presented to the professional community at the Gatchina museum-preserve as part of the Days of Safeguarding Museum Objects and Museum Security.

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