The State Hermitage Museum signed a protocol of intent on Wednesday, 11 March, with the St Petersburg-based LSR development group to open a satellite branch of the museum in Moscow, on the grounds of the landmark former Soviet ZIL automobile plant.

According to a statement released by the museum: “the programme of exhibitions of contemporary art will be seen by the Hermitage as a priority and will be part of the overall Hermitage 20/21 project and development of the concept of the ‘Greater Hermitage’.” The museum added that it “reserves the right to realise exhibition projects in collaboration with other museums”.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, the general director of the Hermitage, and Andrey Molchanov, the chairman of LSR’s board of directors, signed the agreement in St Petersburg. Also present was the Canadian architect Hani Rashid who will design the satellite with his New York-based firm Asymptote Architecture. Russian media report that construction is due to be completed by 2018.