SARATOV, April 5 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian government plans to allocate over 67 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) to museum activities over the next six years, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“Budget allocations for museum activity will grow fourfold to exceed 67 billion rubles in 2012-2018. The key sums will be spent on the construction and reconstruction of museums and their depositories,” President-elect Putin said on Thursday at a meeting with representatives of the museum community.
Putin, on a working trip to the Saratov Region on the Volga, recalled that some $509.1 million was spent on museum activity as part of the Russian Culture federal target program in 2006-2011, with the money used only for construction without museum maintenance.
He also instructed the Culture Ministry to work out a concept for museum branch development.
Putin said about 20 percent of nearly 9,000 buildings occupied by Russian museums met the the required conditions for storage of collections, while 40 percent need an overhaul.
“As for museum depositories, the country needs at least 500,000 square meters [5.4 million sq ft] of them,” he said.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.