The General Staff building in Saint Petersburg
One of the largest and most publicly prominent projects of recent years in Saint Petersburg was the modernization of the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building, which had been transferred to the administration of the State Hermitage as far back as the late 1980s. In 1988 the Eastern Wing of the General Staff was given over to the State Hermitage for use as display areas, storage and service premises for the museum; the Western Wing remained in the hands of the military. In the case of the State Hermitage, that situation prevailed right up until 2014 and the opening of the General Staff building, intended for the presentation of contemporary art. The Eastern Wing of the General Staff building is important because it offers people open public spaces in which to work and relax, to study and pass time, which is also an important function of a modern-day museum.