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The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has survived through 250 years of tsars, assassinations, fires, revolutions, and two world wars to become a global cultural destination housing one of the largest collections of art in the world. In an extraordinary memoir, the museum's longtime director takes the reader on a private tour of this global treasure. Holding one of the largest collections of Western and Oriental art in the world, the Hermitage is also a product of Russia and its dramatic history. Founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1764, the stunning Winter Palace was built to house her growing collection of Old Masters and to serve as a home for the imperial family. Tsars came and went over the years, bloodily or peacefully, artworks were acquired and sold, buildings were burned down in terrible fires, and still the collections grew. After the violent upheavals of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the palaces and collections were opened to the public, ultimately enduring even the three-year siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by the Nazis in World War II. Now, in an unprecedented collection of illuminating essays, Piotrovsky explores the cultural history of a collection as rich in adventure as art. From fascinating intrigues, such as the Impressionist masterpieces recovered in Germany after World War II and hidden from the public for fifty years, to revelatory scholarship on the collection's incredible art and artifacts, these authoritative and engaging anecdotes make for an exceptional read. My Hermitage is a profound and captivating story of art's timelessness and how it brings people together.