chapter  3
18 Pages

The Imperial Archaeological commission (1859–1918) and cultural heritage management in Russia

WithMaria Medvedeva

In the nineteenth century, the Ministry for Internal Affairs made a series of attempts to gather information on ancient monuments located in Russia. The Imperial Archaeological Commission (IAC) played an important role in developing a state system for the preservation of historical monuments. It was founded in St Petersburg by a decree of Emperor Alexander II on 2 February 1859. Throughout the rest of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, the commission was the leading state institution concerning itself specifically with the study and preservation of Russia's archaeological and architectural heritage. In the early twentieth century, the IAC's efforts to preserve the Russian Empire's architectural heritage extended from the Kingdom of Poland in the West to Siberia in the East, from Arkhangel'sk province in the North to the Caucasus and Central Asia in the South.