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The Russian Museum

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Permanent exhibitions
Stroganov Palace

On 26 May 2005 the Mineral Study in the Stroganov Palace was opened after restoration and recreation of interiors. The study was designed by Andrei Voronikhin in 1791-92. It was considered as one of the masterpieces of Russian architecture of the 18th century. It was meant for the library of Count Alexander Stroganov and display of the collection of minerals. The Mineral Study is a room with two tiers of windows. Fluted columns of Corinthian order, made of artificial marble, support spandrels on which leans a gallery of the second tier. The first tier is decorated with four allegorical bas-relieves representing four elements: "Fire", "Earth", "Air" and "Water". The perspective painting of the cupola was probably executed by Petro Gonzago in the early 19th century. In the mid-19th century the room was turned into a Billiard Room. The second tier was isolated by an iron cupola and a tiled stove was set instead of one of the bookcases. Later on, in the 1950-80s the panting of the cupola suffered from numerous leakings. The cupboards of the upper tier became absolutely useless. Now, the room has got the design conceived by the architect Andrei Voronikhin. In 1919 the collection of minerals from the Stroganov Palace was conveyed to the Alexander Fersman Mineralogical Museum, which took part in recreation of exposition of minerals. More over, the Russian Museum was presented a chest with polished plates of various species that belonged to the Stroganovs. The St Petersburg Museum of Mines granted part of minerals to modern exposition.