Over 240,000 items missing in Russian museums

20:58, September 08, 2010      

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Russian museums were missing more than 242,000 items, only 24,500 of which were reported as stolen, an expert from the Cultural Ministry said Wednesday.

According to Lyubov Molchanova, another 219,000 items were absent for unknown reasons, with mismanagement as likely a culprit as thieves.

Russia's Interior and Cultural Ministries were currently conducting a joint audit of the national museums' treasures after three major robberies happened in the largest museum, the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg.

They checked 1,881 museums, responsible for 73 million items.

The expert told a museums conference that some missing items might be actually still stocked in the museums but "just had been forgotten".

She referred to disorderly work and mismanagement in the museums as a reason for the mess.

Molchanova complained that some items had been transferred to governors and state institutions, who had refused to return them.

"Museum workers often are too humble to resist the officials' demands," said the expert as quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

Source: Xinhua


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