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Russia/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.2 Basic data about selected public institutions in the cultural sector

State and municipal cultural institutions delivering cultural services (libraries, museums, arts schools) remain the base of the national cultural infrastructure. The bulk of the organisations in performing arts are also state-budgeted. Statistics on cultural institutions provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation concerns only public units.

Table 8:    Cultural institutions financed by public authorities, by domain


Cultural institutions (subdomains)

Number (2009)

Trend (to 2008)

Cultural heritage

Cultural heritage sites (recognised)

142 500 (2009)

(to 2008)


Museums (organisations)

2 578 (2010)

+39 (to 2009)


Archives (of public authorities)

2 559

No trend

Visual arts

Public art galleries / exhibition halls*


Art academies (or universities)


No trend

Performing arts

Symphonic orchestras**


No trend


Music schools***

1 677 (2010)

-117 (to 2009)


Music / theatre academies
(or conservatories)


No trend


Dramatic theatre




Music theatres, opera houses




Dance and ballet companies****


No trend



46 065 (2010)

-632 (to 2009)


Broadcasting organisations*****



Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses

46 555 (2010)

-829 (to 2009)

Other (please explain)

Recreation Parks (within the Ministry of Culture responsibilities)

388 (2010)

+3 (to 2009)





Sources:   Gosudarstvenny komitet RF po statistike: Rossijsky statistichesky yyezhegodnik, 2009. (State Committee of the RF for Statistics: Russian Statistical Yearbook, 2009, Moscow, 2010). Moskva, 2010, p. 284;  statistical publications of the Ministry of Culture, 2009-2010.
*              Galleries mainly belong to the private or NGO sector, or exist within museums, or are part of the multifunctional cultural centres e.g. the "Gubernsky" Concert and Exhibition Centre in Kostroma Region.

**            Within the Ministry of Culture system.
***          Within the Ministry of Culture system, arts schools (3 089 in 2010, + 94 from 2009) that often have a music department are not included.
****        Autonomous (not a member of philharmonic organisations) within the Ministry of Culture system.
*****      It is problematic to distinguish the registered and acting broadcasters; moreover, this sector has a very sophisticated institutional structure.

In the 1990s, despite numerous declarations outlining new priorities, the preservation of monuments and survival of the traditional cultural institutions network remained most important. Support for these institutions drained the largest part of the public budget for culture, even when financing was reduced to the payment of salaries. At the same time, state cultural institutions were given a certain degree of economic freedom that helped their survival in the most difficult years.

The scarcity of resources and decline effectual in demand of the 1990s drastically decreased the number of cinemas, cultural houses, and public libraries and dictated a system of preference for certain kinds of institutions. Those holding a special legal status of "particularly valuable" have obtained the highest priority from the state and have been excluded from privatisation (renowned museums, theatres, higher schools, archives, collections, etc.). Among them are the Hermitage, the Bolshoi, the State Film Fund of the Russian Federation (Gosfilmofond), the Russian Academies of Fine Arts, and of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, which are presented in the federal budget with a separate entry.

Since 2000, the income of the cultural sector institutions has grown about 5 times, though its increase was permanently limited by the low purchasing power of the population. The experts estimate that the share of non-budget funding increased in some institutions (especially federal ones) by 30% mainly due to the growth of ticket prices and entrance fees, the substitution of free cultural services by paid ones, sub-leasing, touring abroad, or participating in particular funded events.

The trend of decreasing numbers is characteristic for concert organisations, independent companies, libraries, clubs, and others. Most of the cultural institutions located in the regional centres and municipalities need reconstruction and modernisation to attract the younger generation. However, museums, clubs and libraries remain focal points of cultural activities and provide spaces for amateurs, students and trainees of every age.

Chapter published: 21-02-2012

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