The Peterhof State Museum Preserve has appealed to the Russian Ministry of Culture to allocate emergency funding for the restoration of Ropsha Palace.
The appeal comes after 5 large portico columns which stood over the entrance to the palace façade collapsed on January 9th.
According to the general director of the museum Elena Kalnitskaya, the reason for the collapse of the columns could be due to severe winter weather conditions. A build up of snow began to melt, then turning to ice, the latter of which took its toll on the crumbling exterior of the historic palace. She notes that the collapse was predictable, because "the building was in a terrible state of disrepair."
The Ropsha palace and park ensemble was handed over to the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve in 2013. In December 2014, a decision was made that once restored, the palace at Ropsha would be used as a multifunctional restoration centeral. The complex will include a school of restoration and a hostel. The initial budget required to begin the restoration at Ropsha is 5 billion rubles (more than $80 million USD). Further plans would see Ropsha added to the Imperial Ring, a new tourist route project planned which would include Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, Pavlovsk, Gatchina and other former Romanov residences in an around St. Petersburg.
The history of Ropsha has a rich Romanov legacy, one which began during the era of Emperor Peter I, who founded a hospital with beneficial mineral waters. Empress Elizabeth, who loved to hunt at Ropsha, had the estate rebuilt by the famed architect Rastrelli. In July 1762, it was here that the dethroned Emperor Peter III died, allegedly killed at the order of his wife's - the Empress Catherine II's - conspirators.
Ropsha Palace: New Life for an Imperial Residence
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 January, 2015