Bringing The House Down

Historic country homes in Russia are being damaged by rock and pop concerts held on their grounds, according to a study by scientists at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

They also say research into the effect of sound vibrations from concerts that acts including The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and others have performed in the city’s Winter Square may have shaved years off the life of priceless works of art housed there.

Heritage Museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky says it is likely that buildings, books and statues have also been damaged by the concerts, warning that similar institutions across the world should take note, according to The Telegraph.

The preliminary results of the three-year study, which are currently being examined by the Grabar Art Restoration Institute in Moscow, show that every 10 concerts louder than 82 decibels add an extra year to the age of a work.

Piotrovsky says the Russian study has serious implications for other buildings.

"Early results say the level of sound in the rooms which overlook Winter Square cannot be more than 80-82 decibels. We are going to study this. I think it is a serious issue, not just for Russia," he told the paper.

Kenwood and Somerset House in London, and Knebworth in Hertfordshire, all of which hold valuable art collections, regularly host outdoor gigs.