Exhibits Showcase Hermitage's 'Lost' Art, Scandinavian Unity


Reed Travel Features

NEW YORK -- Just how deep is the basement of the Hermitage?

The Russian state museum in St. Petersburg continues to unveil its "lost" art -- masterpieces secretly stored away during Russia's more than 50 years of Communism -- with no end in sight.

Last month, for example, the Hermitage debuted 89 drawings by some of the best-known European artists of the the 19th century; the works were thought to have been lost during World War II.

The drawings were taken from several private German collections in the course of the war.

The exhibit, which runs through March, comes on the heels of last year's blockbuster, "Hidden Treasures Revealed," which showcased works by many of the great European Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

"Master Drawings Rediscovered: Treasures from Prewar German Collections" features many of the artists who brought so much publicity to "Hidden Treasures Revealed," including Archipenko, Cezanne, Delacroix, Daumier, Goya and Van Gogh.

The Hermitage is located at Dvortsovaya Nab. 36 and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Hermitage's entrance fee of about $9 includes admission to the special exhibit.

A visit to the museum is included in most packages sold by operators to Russia, such as FinnWay-Norvista, (800) 526-4927, and General Tours, (800) 221-2216 and (800) 847-1800.

Other off-season exhibits in Europe include the following:

* "Confronting History," at Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou through April 7, is sure to attract crowds.

The exhibition presents a view of major events of the 20th century seen through the paintings of Beckmann, Beuys, Chagall, Dix, Dali Matta, Picasso, Rauschenberg and others.

The Centre Georges Pompidou, at Plac Beaubourg, is open from noon to 10 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Admission to the museum and the exhibit is about $9.

* Understanding how Scandinavia became a united cultural entity is the subject of "Margrete I -- Regent of the North" at the Nationalmuseet (National Museum) in Copenhagen, Denmark, through April 1.

In 1997 Denmark celebrates the fact that 600 years ago its queen, Margrete, unified the warring forces of Norway (which included today's Iceland) and Sweden (which included today's Finland).

The exhibit focuses on one of the Middle Ages' great woman leaders and on the Nordic countries during this era.

The Nationalmuseet, at Ny Vestergade 10, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays.

Admission is approximately $5.

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