Press Room

UK Study Visit Program for Museum Curators

Since 2006 the Vladimir Potanin Foundation together with the British Council have organized annual educational trips for the winners of the Changing Museum in a Changing World Contest. The most talented and active of Russia’s museum professionals get a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of British museums and learn from their British colleagues.

According to a survey conducted by the Foundation to evaluate the Program’s impact, 85 percent of the internship participants applied the knowledge, experience and techniques they acquired at their respective museums, while 57 percent received promotions. For instance, Victor Shalay, who participated in such an educational trip in 2007 while working as a freelancer at the Arseniev State Museum of Primorsky Region – one of the biggest and oldest museums in the Russia’s Far East – was appointed the museum’s Director in 2011. Natalia Nikitina, at the time a museum manager, went on study trips to UK in 2006 and 2010. Natalia is now Director General of Gorod-Muzey, the Kolomna Center of Cultural Tourism Development.  Since 2006, she has implemented three successful museum projects at her home town of Kolomna using the knowledge she acquired while visiting the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.

When asked about the benefits of participating in the educational trips, all the participants emphasized that these trips gave them a powerful professional boost, that they acquired unique knowledge and experience, and got a chance to establish valuable relationships with foreign curators and museums.

Russia has a vast museum network famous world worldwide for its rich collections.  The people who work at these museums spare no effort to improve them and make them more attractive to Russian and foreign visitors. All those who had a chance to go on the UK study visits emphasized that they help Russian museum experts and professionals to adopt successful modern museum techniques, and enable the creation of a community of museum leaders who will shape the future of museums in Russia.