Consul of Spain about Mining Museum: “I Am Delighted!”
Felix Valdes, Consul General of Spain in Saint Petersburg, visited the Mining Museum.
The diplomat acquainted himself with the Museum's collections, consisting of art pieces from natural stone, meteorites, fossils and skeletons of ancient animals, models of mining and factory equipment, and art castings. He also had a look at the Malachite Hall and saw the House Church of the Venerable Macarius of Egypt.
"I first learned about the Museum from the recollections of one Spanish diplomat who came to the Russian Empire back in the 19th century to gain an insight into the local mining school traditions. Of course, he paid visits to the Mining Institute and the Museum, the riches of which he described in detail in his memoirs. Now I have seen for myself that he was right. The expositions showcase the strength of Russia's mineral resources sector and demonstrate how the industry developed over the years", says Felix Valdes.
As the Consul notes, he was particularly impressed by the hall displaying unique nuggets of gold, silver and platinum, items presented by members of the imperial family, and a large, of over 2.5 kg in weight, transparent beryl crystal gifted by Emperor Nicholas I.
"We have the Geomineral Museum in Madrid, which is similar to yours but has fewer exhibits to offer. The Mining Museum's collection is simply enormous! One may have been here several times and yet will discover something new upon a next visit. I guess even a year will not suffice to see all of the Museum," sums up the Spanish diplomat.
Let us remind that the Mining Museum in St. Petersburg is three years older than America, while Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, can be considered the Museum's rightful mother. By its size, it is now the world's third-largest natural-scientific exposition gathered in a building designed by Russian architect Andrey Voronikhin.
Replenishing the Museum's collection was a matter of great importance since the day of its foundation. Under a decree of Catherine II, all owners of mining enterprises and deposits in Russia were obliged to send samples of minerals, ores, and factory products to the Museum.