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Hermitage plans big cultural expansion

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The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is seeking a development partner to help reconstruct 38,000m2 of museum space in the Neo-Classical General Staff Building on the other side of the palace square. The space would be used to house more of the Hermitage's collections - currently only 5 per cent are on show. Outline proposals will be sought as a first stage in a competitive process.

Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovski hopes the reconstruction will also create a cultural and entertainment centre, which could also include other museums. For details, contact Christopher Seddon, tel: 0171 221 4396.

There has been catering in the park since 1623, when James I allowed cow stalls to be set up on the Mall. Hence last week's photocall included a milkmaid dressed up in eighteenth-century costume, and Poppy, a Sussex/Friesian Cross

A shell-like National Natural History Museum in Turkey has been designed by bsb Architects. The 24,000m2 scheme for Ankara will have two interconnected blocks containing exhibition halls, a library, lecture spaces and areas for zoology and botany. The building, within the Middle East Technical University, is due to start in 1999 and will cost around £6.5 million.

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