Masterpieces in virtual space

Information and Educational Centre — Russian Museum: Virtual Branch — opens in Polotsk, with local university acting as its partner

By Darya Kirillova

The Russian Museum’s virtual branch is to work from the former Jesuit Collegium, which dates back to 1581 and now houses two departments of Polotsk University: history and philology, and IT. The Information and Educational Centre’s primary goal is to educate, providing access to important electronic and printed materials from the Russian Museum.

Visitors will be able to ‘tour’ the outstanding palaces of St. Petersburg and see digitised masterpieces by established Russian artists. Individual and group excursions will be possible, via a classroom equipped with computers and a multimedia cinema hall equipped with projectors. Polotsk University has allocated special services for this joint project.

For the opening of the branch, museum staff prepared a lecture on a famous painting from the Russian Museum: Vladimir and Rogneda by Anton Losenko (1770). It shows the tragic history of the Princess of Polotsk and the Prince of Kiev.

According to Dmitry Glukhov, the Polotsk University’s Pro-rector, the opening of the Russian Museum’s virtual branch will contribute to the aesthetic education of students, meeting the highest requirements of university education. It will also spiritually enrich future professionals. Virtual tours of the Russian Museum will be available for Polotsk schoolchildren and tourists and will doubtless prove to be an exciting experience.

Mr. Glukhov hopes that other projects will follow. He notes that Polotsk University and the Russian Museum are currently discussing opportunities for joint activities, including those using information technologies.

Polotsk University continues the traditions of the great philosophers of Belarus, having 16 doctors of sciences and professors on its staff, alongside over 150 candidates of sciences and assistant professors. University scientists have created and patented over 900 inventions, in Belarus, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Japan and China. The Polotsk State University is the only Belarusian higher educational establishment to have branches in two cities: Polotsk and Novopolotsk. 14,000 students are currently enrolled.

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