Art photographer Andy Freeberg found out when he noticed women sitting near certain art pieces in the State Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Why are these women guarding the art instead of uniformed, young guards? Evgeny Berezner of the Russian Ministry of Culture, told Freeberg, “It has to be these ‘not so young’ women because they know the history of our country. Russia has had a very difficult history with its government and rulers over the years, but the one thing all Russians are proud of is our art, our culture. These women are the guardians of our culture.”