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It was fully recognized by the Director and his staff that, where the revitalization of the Fabric

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was concerned, it was necessary to concentrate also on a programme of hydro-isolation and stabilization of the foundations of the buildings, which are frequently eroded by water, and on the security aspect, whilst at the same time interacting with the overall conservation plans for the city of St. Petersburg itself. UNESCO likewise underlined the need to pay attention to the Museum=s Environment as a whole, to make it more visitor-friendly: here sub-projects have been identified with a view to improving the lighting and the labelling and signage in the galleries, and to encourage specialized cultural tourism programmes for those art lovers, researchers and students wishing to enjoy a more extensive visit of the collections to include lectures and other forms of specialized services. And last but not least, UNESCO saw the advisability to include the Management of the Hermitage amongst those spheres requiring assistance. Under this heading, professional development and training is recognized as the basis of efficiency in a modernized environment where new techniques and computerization are introduced, while marketing and merchandizing are seen as a means of permitting the Museum to become self-sufficient.

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For the purpose of providing professional advice to the Hermitage directorate, UNESCO has succeeded in setting up an International Advisory Board composed of some of the world=s leading experts, who meet in St. Petersburg once a year. The members of the Board are the Directors of the National Gallery (UK), the Rijksmuseum (Netherlands), the Bayerische Staatsgemaldesammlungen and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Germany), the Philadelphia Musuem of Art (USA), the ex-Directors of the Kimbell Art Museum (USA), the National Gallery of Art (USA) and the Louvre (France), the General Administrator of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (France), and the Director of Cultural Activities at the Palazzo Grassi (Italy).