Mikhail Piotrovskii has been director of the State Hermitage museum since 1992. He is a correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an active member of the Russian Academy of Arts, a member of the Presidental Council for Science and Education, chairman of the Council of Russian Museums, and president of the World Club of St. Petersburgers.
He was awarded the order of the Royal House of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands, 1996), the Medal of Honor (Russia, 1997), the order of the Legion of Honor (France, 1998, 2004), the order of the Polar Star (Sweden, 1999), order for “Service to the Italian Republic” (Italy, 2000, 2004), the order of St. Mesrop (the Armenian Apostolic Church, 2000), the order of Yaroslav the Wise (Ukraine, 2003), the order “For Service” (Poland, 2004), the order of “Service to the Fatherland” (Russia, 2004, 2009), the order of “Al-Fakhr” (The Council of Muftis of Russia), the order of the Lion of Finland (Finland, 2005), the order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (Japan, 2007), The Silver Medal of Amsterdam (2009), the Order of the Crown (Belgium, 2011), the annual public prize “Golden Bridge” (Italy, 2010), and the Gold Medal in the Name of Lev Nikolaev (Russia, 2012). In 2003 Piotrovskii was awarded the Presidential Prize in the fields of literature and art.
On May 25th, 2011 he was conferred as an honorary citizen of St. Petersburg.
Dr. Piotrovskii graduated with honors from the Eastern Department of Leningrad State University in the department of Arab Philology, and in 1965-1966 interned at the University of Cairo. He worked in the Leningrad branch of the Institute for Eastern Studies, and defended his candidate's and doctorate dissertations in 1973 and 1985, respectively.
He participated in archeological excavations in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Yemen. He is the author of more than 250 scientific works, including catalogues of Arabic chronicles, publications on medieval monuments and ancient inscriptions, works on the spiritual and political history of Islam and Arabic culture, and the archeology of Arabia.
Research interests: Arab and Islamic culture and art, archeology of northern and southern Caucasus, Central Asia, and Yemen, ancient Arab epigraphy, the history of world and Russian museums and artistic collections.
-The Spirit of Islamic Art
-The Museum as a Historico-Cultural Phenomenon