Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovski was bom in Erevan, Armenia, in 1944. His father, Boris Borisovich Piotrovski, an eminent archaeologist was director of the State Hermitage Museum from 1964 to his death in 1990; his mother Hripsime Djanpoladjan is also an archaeologist. Living in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), He spent many hours in the Museum as a child and studied in the Museums Art History School.
Dr. Piotrovski graduated from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, specializing in Arabic Studies, in 1967 and attended Cairo University, 1965-1966. He entered the Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies as a research assistant in 1967 and worked there until 1991, by which time had reacted the rank of senior researcher. Dr. Piotrovski completed his Ph.D. in history in 1972 and was awarded a Doctorate or Science (history) in 1983. Following his father's death he was invited, in 1991, to join the Hermitage staff as the First Deputy Director. In July 1992 he was appointed the Director of the Museum by a decree of the Prime Minister.
Dr. Piotrovski has taken part in archaeological excavations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Yemen. He was the head of a team in the Soviet Yemeni Expedition from 1989 to 1991 and was its director, 1989-90. His publications include "The Saga of the Yemeni King Asad" (1977), "The Main Features of Islamic Art" (1984), "Southern Arabia in the Middle Ages" (1985), ''Islam Encyclopedia" (1991), "Koranic Tales" (1991).
Dr. Piotrovski is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a full member or the Russian Academy of Humanities, a Professor of the St. Petersburg State University; and he serves on the boards of the Presidents Committee for the Russian State Prize, the Presidents Council for Art and Culture, the Foundation for Research in Humanities, the Russian Commission for UNESCO, the Exhibitions Experts Committee or the Council of Europe and other national and international bodies. He was awarded the Netherlands Order of Oranhge - Nassau in 1996 and Russian Order of Honor in 1997. A planet was named "Piotrovski" in joint honor of Prof. Mihhail Borisovich Piotrovski and his father Prof. Boris Borisovich Piotrovski.
His wife Irina is an economist, specializing in international finance. They have two children, Maria, 25 and Boris, 15.
Prepared by Press Office
State Hermitage Museum
St. Petersburg, Russia