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For the first time the endowment model was discussed at the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum

For the first time the endowment model was discussed at the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum

The issue of building endowments was for the first time highlighted at the International Cultural Forum in Saint Petersburg. Representatives of Russian and international cultural institutions shared their views and experience on the endowment building practices during an open discussion, titled Philanthropy of the Future: Trends, Innovations and Challenges of Public-Private Partnerships, organized and hosted by the foundation. The event took place at the General Staff Building of the Hermitage 19 November 2018.

The speakers included:

  • Adrien Franceschi, Partnerships Manager, The Louvre, France
  • Yann Le Touher, Director of Development, Commercial Partnerships and Brand, The Louvre, France
  • Ignasi Mirо, Culture Programme Director, La Caixa Banking Foundation, Spain
  • Frances Wheare, Senior Development Executive and Acting Team Leader, The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, UK
  • Gerry Salole, Executive Director, European Foundation Centre, Belgium
  • Viktoriya Shamlikashvili, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Boris Eifman Endowment
  • Bjorn Stenvers, Executive Director, ICOM Endowment Fund, France
  • Yuriy Trofimov, The Minister of Culture of Omsk region


  • Svetlana Mironyuk, Executive Director, PwC Russia
  • Oksana Oracheva, General Director, The Vladimir Potanin Foundation

Oksana Oracheva: “It is essential to get to know best practices worldwide, which constitute a crucial basis, allowing us to figure out how and where to move forward. In various countries, endowments emerge at different times. Certain efforts are required from every stakeholder: government authorities, business and cultural institutions. There is no universal decision for a successful building of the endowment. It is important that cultural institutions should express certain demand and necessity for changes in this particular area – a government support is needed to build the basis for the endowment growth and development in Russia, its legal arrangements, specific laws and modification of the existing ones’’.

“Initially in France such form as the endowment fund did not exist. But the government and the Louvre made up their mind to create such fund, as we develop collaborations with the UAE, particularly, the project “Louvre-Abu-Dhabi”. Within this partnership, the Louvre sold its brand for 30 years. This way significant funds were received – about €150 million. In order to manage these funds, the endowment fund was initiated,” – remarked Yann Le Touher, Director of Development, Commercial Partnerships and Brand, The Louvre, France.

Later on it was decided to attract other philanthropists. For now the Louvre apart from Abu-Dhabi project has about 11 big partners, able to fund the museum’s projects. Amongst them there are such companies as Louis Vuitton, Yves St. Laurent. Besides donors from France, there are partners from other countries.

“We have multiple tools to attract funds. For instance, annually we organize a crowdfunding campaign open for anyone across the globe. Donations can be small from €5-10, but in the end a collected sum of funds would suffice to support a restoration project or to obtain a new exhibit item for the museum’s collection,” – said Yann Le Touher. Today the total endowment fund of the Louvre amounts to €200 million.

The first endowment fund of the regional museum in Russia appeared only two years ago - in the Omsk regional museum of fine arts, named after Mikhail Vroubel. “It was important for us to prove that we can make it, especially in a province. Now we, on the basis of the museum, with the support of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, created an educational endowment center for cultural institutions, located in regions of Russia”, - said the Minister of Culture of the Omsk region, Yuriy Trofimov, who previously held a position of the director of the museum, named after Vroubel.

According to him, representatives of museums of different regions from Nizhniy Novgorod to Vladivostok will attend the educational program of the endowment center. Overall, there will be about 20 participants of the two year course. “We hope that within the coming years at least a few endowments in the cultural institutions of Russia will be created,” added Trofimov.

Today the endowment fund of the Omsk regional museum of fine arts, named after Vroubel, is about RUB 9 million. “Our fund is not that big, but we have dividends, enabling us to purchase a number of paintings, and to conduct the Days of the State Hermitage Museum in Siberia this year,” - stated the Minister of Culture of the Omsk region.