"we would have to transfer our furtive frenzy elsewhere - to the Pedagogical Museum, to the Museum of Court Carriages, or to a tiny museum of old maps, which guidebooks do not even list "

Even now St Petersburg boasts a wealth of obscure specialist museums, alongside its world-famous Hermitage and Russian State Museum. Among my favourites when I lived there in the 1990s were the Museum of the Arctic and the Antarctic (moth-eaten polar bears watched over by moth-eaten attendants in arctic conditions), and the Museum of Hygiene (Pavlov's actual dog, stuffed!).