On 9 November an official reception dedicated to the completion of the restoration of "The Lute Player" by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, carried out with the support of Baker McKenzie, took place at the State Hermitage Museum in tandem with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Baker McKenzie’s St. Petersburg office. Guests were welcomed by the Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovski, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie Paul Rawlinson, CIS Managing Partner Sergei Voitishkin and Head of the firm’s St. Petersburg office Maxim Kalinin.
"The Lute Player" is the only Caravaggio painting in Russia and an absolute masterpiece of the State Hermitage Museum's collection. The restoration of the painting took almost two years to eventually bring it back to the original as contemplated by its creator. Josef van Wissem, the famous Dutch lute player and composer, reconstructed the melody of the madrigal "Voi sapete ch’io vi amo" by Jacobus Arkadelt, depicted in the painting, and played this melody for guests at the event.
"An opportunity to support the restoration of this wonderful painting is a great honor and privilege for our firm. Like the Hermitage Museum, Baker McKenzie not only celebrates the past but also looks forward to the future with quiet optimism", said Paul Rawlinson during the official unveiling of the painting. Sergey Voitishkin added: "Baker McKenzie has a principle – we always follow the needs of our clients. As we have been working with the Hermitage for many years, we couldn’t remain uninvolved in its activities and we joined it in the world of art."
The St. Petersburg office of Baker McKenzie was established in 1992 and is currently the leader in the legal services market in the region. As well as working with leading Russian and foreign companies, the firm also began taking an active part in the activities of the Hermitage Friends Club in 1997. In July 1999, the State Hermitage Museum and Baker McKenzie signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. Under this program, the firm became the official legal adviser of the State Hermitage and the museum calls on its services for projects that require special
The cooperation between Baker McKenzie and the State Hermitage Museum is not limited to the provision of legal services. In 2012, with the assistance of the company, the State Hermitage carried out the restoration of a crystal vase with blue cornflowers and oat heads by Fabergé. Since 2000, Baker McKenzie has also supported the “Our Hermitage” School Center aimed at helping children with developmental delays.
"We are proud to have over 25 years of successful experience in our wonderful city and to have been able to contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage of St. Petersburg throughout all
these years," said Maxim Kalinin in his speech. "Our gratitude goes to our clients, partners and friends for providing us with this opportunity."
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15 November 2017
Baker McKenzie supports restoration of a masterpiece of the State Hermitage Museum and celebrates the 25th anniversary of its St. Petersburg office
St. Petersburg, 14 November 2017.