It's been a few years since I was there, but I just did an article for "Atlantis" on this and interviewed Tatiana Koskeyeva, Assistant Curator at Gatchina, who said that work continues. By 1996, the exterior walls had been reinforced, and the internal masonry divisions bolstered with iron beams and ties; even so, there was nothing of Alexander III’s Private Apartments left to be seen. Wooden partitions, doors, and interior details, were all lost in the fire that swept through the Palace in 1944, leaving only a configuration of supporting piers and crumbled walls, open to the elements through the empty windows. By 2000, however, the floors had been reinforced, rubble swept clear, and interior walls plastered. As money allows, the former shell is being replaced with decoration copied from contemporary photographs, but it will be many years before is fully restored. Its isolation makes it an inconvenient tourist destination, and funds necessary to complete the work are often channeled to the more popular Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, and Pavlovsk reserves. Many items-tapestries, paintings, furniture, and sculpture-originally from the Gatchina collection, evacuated in advance of the Nazi invasion, were never returned, instead forming much of the collection now on display at Pavlovsk; a constant battle is waged over these items, but Pavlovsk, better known and closer to tourist centers, continues to hold them. “They are ours,” Koskeyeva says adamantly, “and they should be returned to Gatchina, where they belong.” She particularly notes a number of important chandeliers, bronzes, and pieces of furniture “that are integral elements to our faithful restoration.” An Artillery and Weaponry Museum has been established on the ground floor, Gatchina once again playing host to an exquisite collection of priceless artifacts, while on the floors above numerous Imperial items not associated with the Palace but culled from other museums, including Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra’s Coronation Thrones that had been in the St. Andrei Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, are displayed.