Information about the Museums Organisation
Association of Museum Professionals



Foundation (Year): 1997



Individual members only




third party funds



Have the museums/your institution experienced budget cuts in connection with the financial crisis in the last two years?

On the average, about 30 %



How do museums cope with the budget cuts?

Downsizing collection, cutting in collecting- and restoration program (the restoration programs were almost totally stopped in many cases), integrating with other museums, dissolving (it happens sometimes, but not often, it is not a tendency all over the country.

Number of Museums:

Around 3000, according to the portal "Museums of Russia" (



Types of Museums:

According to the "Museums of Russia" portal (

Architectural ensembles: 278

Natural History Museums: 185

Historical Museums: 1378

Art Museums: 691

Science and Technology Museums: 173

Literary Museums: 263

Theatre Museums: 88

Musical Museums: 95

Memorial Museums: 524

Museum-reserves: 123

Local History Museums: 1034


NB: some museums can be classified as considered among several types.




According to the official web-site of the RF Ministry of Culture (

Federal museums subordinate to the Ministry of Culture: 86 (in 2008),

Number of visitors:  24 698 000 (in 2008)


Regional museums, municipal and other museums: figures  are not available



Museum Organizations:


Russian Museums Union

President: Mikhail Piotrovsky (Director of the State Hermitage)

Executive Director: Lyudmila Alexandrova


Association of Museum Professionals of the Regions of Russia (AMR)

President: Vladimir Tolstoy

(director of the Leo Tolstoy Museum-estate "Yasnaya Polyana")

+7 4872 386710

Executive Director: Evgeny Surin


Museum Agency of the Republic of Karelia 



Museum magazine: The Museum, The World of Museum



National Museum legislation and structure:

RF Basic Law on Culture (1992; latest amendments added in 2004)

RF Law On Import and Export of Objects of Cultural Value (1993, amendments added in 2004, 2008 and 2009)

Federal Law on RF Museum Fund and Museums in RF (1996)

Federal Law on Cultural Heritage Objects (historical and cultural monuments) of the Peoples of the Russian Federation (2002).

In 2007, Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography that governed Russian museums alongside with the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication was abolished, and Russian museums are again governed by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry has in its structure the Department of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts, which in its turn includes the Museum Department.

Besides, there is a Federal Service supervising observance of laws in the field of cultural heritage preservation (Rosokhrancultura) that is subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. It has 13 regional branches.


Since 2000, reforms of budget institutions are implemented in Russia. In all these years, there were different initiatives and many changes. In 2006 the Federal Law on Autonomous Institutions was adopted, and it was supposed that there would be 2 types of institutions: budget and autonomous, and that budget institutions will start to change their status. The reform didn't work in practice. As a result, we have another legislative initiative, and 3 types of budget institutions are suggested: public/state institution, budget institution of the new type, and autonomous institution.


The first one means a traditional budget institution, financed by its constitutor and having no financial assets of its own. It gets no money for further development, just for basic activities. This type can be suitable for museums which have no, or very limited opportunity to earn on their own. If such an institution earns something on its own, it all goes to the budget of the constitutor. If the money comes from sponsors, anyway the constitutor decides how it should be spent.

In fact, it is considered that this type of institution is not exactly meant for museums, it's hard to get this status, though some museums would want to do so.

The other two types are more relevant for museums.

Budget institution of the new type gets most of its budget from the constitutor, but it also earns a considerable part of it on its own. It is not free to decide how to spend the earned money; it has to be settled between the institution and its constitutor. 

Autonomous institution gets far less financial support from the constitutor. Only the basic activities are supported, which for museums means preservation of heritage. These institutions are free to earn and spend what they earn the way they like.


It's the constitutors, not museums themselves that decide which type this or that institution will transform to. In some cases, organizations, and there are examples among museums, are made autonomous institutions in spite of their protest.


The new law is supposed to come into force from January 2010. As it has quite a number of unclear statements and contains notions having no real legal definitions, it is hard to predict what it will bring in practice and risks are great. Russian Museums Union is trying to lobby specific interests of museums before the law is passed, as the law refers to all kinds of budget institutions in general and doesn't take into account any specific details.


(last update: 15.12.2009/December 2010)