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Mass media / News

The war for the roof. Why do employees of the Russian Museum against reconstruction

Radio Liberty 20.08.2018 at 11:31

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

Staff of the Russian Museum asked the Prosecutor in connection with the plans for the reconstruction of the courtyard of the Mikhailovsky Palace and the temporary relocation of many departments of the Museum. Museum curators believe that the construction of a new glass roof and the Elevator will only spoil the architectural ensemble of the authorship of Carlo Rossi, and urgent transfer of entire Museum walls, foundations and vaults can damage precious exhibits. The situation with the intention of the leadership of the Russian Museum to block one of the inner courtyards of the Mikhailovsky Palace continues to evolve. 96 employees of the Museum, wrote to the Director Vladimir Gusev a letter of protest against plans to close the yard glass roof and build a lift for the disabled, believe the answer the formal formal reply. It was the next step – an appeal to the Prosecutor of the Central district of St. Petersburg with a request to conduct a Prosecutor's check and to take measures of prosecutorial response. The Museum staff believe that the restructuring of the courtyard is a violation of Federal law №73-FZ “On objects of cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of peoples of the Russian Federation”. The appeal was signed by six people in it, they quote 73 of the Federal law, which expressly States that “within the territory of object of cultural heritage... prohibited the construction of objects of capital construction and an increase in the spatial characteristics of existing on the territory of the monument or ensemble of objects of capital construction; excavation, building, ameliorative and other works, with the exception of works on preservation of object of cultural heritage or individual elements, the preservation of historical and urban or natural environment of the object of cultural heritage”. Next, the authors explain that “the device of ceilings, Elevator shaft, of the lecture introduces the structure of the building, and trim the yards natural ventilation can lead to irreversible processes (change of humidity) is not valid in the conditions of Museum storage”. Employees of the Russian Museum, has applied to the Prosecutor's office, are also confident that conceived in connection with the reconstruction of the yard move the Museum values from adjacent to the yard of the premises is not possible, these values causing huge damage. In his address, they clearly justify their position, indicating, for example, that for the temporary travel funds of the scientific library in the White hall of the Marble Palace in its restored interior is supposed to build shelving and railing. Release dates and the training facilities are called absurd. The authors accused the leadership of the Russian Museum in disregard of its true needs, because the Museum has a repository, not seen the repair of 70 and fitted with equipment made from scrap materials upon return from evacuation after the blockade of Leningrad. Despite the thoroughness of the appeal to the Prosecutor, one of the signatory employees, the Keeper of the Department of icons Irina Sosnovtseva hopes that it will help to stop the project. On the one hand, we wrote the appeal to Prosecutor's office, on the other – we are in brisk pace and with all possible care getting ready to move Is another cry SOS, and the only thing we can count on – that we will hear people. Because the story lasts for many years, had many discussions at different levels, the Committee at one time tried to explain the obvious – that such a serious reconstruction, construction and implementation in a wonderful complex [designed by the famous architect Karl] Rossi absolutely is not a restoration or repair, which only allowed these monuments to produce. And now the situation is contradictory: on the one hand, we wrote the appeal to Prosecutor's office, on the other – we are in brisk pace and with all possible care prepared for the move. After all, we all have to minimize the consequences of this crazy insane idea – and for works and for equipment, and for ourselves – all this will be done by our forces and our nerves. – What bothers you in the first place? – First, very sorry for Rossi. He was not lucky – blocked one yard in the General staff building (complex of buildings belonging to the Palace square ensemble, also designed by Carlo Rossi. – RS), there is now going to block. One of our oldest worker once said a remarkable phrase: our first and main exhibit is the Mikhailovsky Palace, it should be protected. There are other side – it's a matter of trust, or rather mistrust. We all work here for a very long time, including Mr. Gusev and his Deputy on capital construction Bazhenova, they are the driving forces of this project from the Museum. You know, because we have a flowing roof, and it can't cope. Now we have some places already have a small glass caps, and some space around them for years can not put in order, because it flows. And when we have the glass roof, even more areas will suffer from leaks. That is, we can't deal with roofs even without any glass covers and complex ventilation systems that were supposed to be. And because Gusev with Bazhenov ten years ago, if not earlier, widely announced that we have created an accessible environment for people with disabilities, built the elevators in the Benois wing and Mikhailovsky Palace. But, as I understand it, they don't work. So why should we believe that the new, much more ambitious and dangerous of the Palace for the event will turn out better than what was done before? So, actually this available environment is not created. Maybe better then to fix what's already been built than to start something big with unclear consequences for the building? Here I was very worried. But, above all, terribly sorry for Rossi – it simply cannot be touched, it can only help. – Why do afoot reconstruction of yards, do you think? – All the presented reasons for this drastic intervention in my opinion are not convincing. Why do we need additional, very small meeting room, which actually all came down, except for the Elevator when we have a lecture hall in the Mikhailovsky Palace and the Mikhailovsky Palace, a small conference room and another meeting room in the marble Palace? The impression is that all this is not for a Museum, that Museum is just an excuse for grandiose achievements. And because plotting these are the people who hire us such great construction firm, after which you need to redo all, – where is the guarantee that they have now done well? No, it's going to be more terrible in its consequences. Take the movement of collections. For example, bronceado. When distributed Museum space, it was done wisely: bronceado positioned so that they come in no one visited the courtyards of the other areas we no longer have. And it's not just moving – you've got to carry all the equipment should be shelves, steel doors. I'm afraid that the main battle will be fought around the fact that we will be forced to do things we simply have no right to do. [Have] to accept the violations and deficiencies. But the instructions for the storage of precious metals is very complex, and we have to fight simply for the fact that not to disturb them. I'm sure that any Vladimir Gusev will not give us written orders to do so-and-so, and guilty of the violations we remain, employees. Our task is not to succumb to any pressure, persuasion to do something quickly, carelessly and roughly against the rules. But it will be difficult. – The only problem is of bronceador? – No. About the library, I do not want to think, we have a huge and popular, it is also in the marble Palace need to build special racks, then assemble everything in the box and yet again systematically expanded, this is huge work! While the rest of the work of the Museum is not going away – reconciliation, exhibitions, loading, unloading, and if we don't do that, the Ministry of culture we will be punished. How you can combine all this with the move, I don't understand, and I'm afraid our boss does not understand. To move the Museum values we have a special team, absolutely wonderful, elderly people who work in it for a long time, is absolutely trustworthy people, our employees, whom we trust, like yourself. But they can't simultaneously move several foundations, continuing the mount and packing of the current exhibitions. It is clear that bronceado no one, except them, will not shift, and all the rest, the same library or frame someone who is going to pack – strangers? The authorities have no account devotes, and yet it creates even more panic. Writer, journalist Mikhail Zolotonosov from the very beginning believed that employees of the Russian Museum should not complain of its Director Vladimir Gusev on it, and the Prosecutor's office.

He also wrote a statement about plans for the reconstruction of courtyards of the Mikhailovsky Palace, but in the General Prosecutor's office. In it he paid special attention to the role of the Ministry of culture in this story. In fact we are talking about cleansing the half or third of the premises of the Mikhailovsky Palace, including halls Surikov, Repin, Vereshchagin the Ministry of culture is exclusively within the competence of the General Prosecutor's office. And it was from the Ministry of culture had the initiative in preparation for capital construction in the Service yard, which affects the Mikhailovsky Palace. Most importantly – we still don't know the position the Committee – that they were allowed. In early July, I applied to the procuracy with the request to understand. They told me July 23, and in addition, sent my application to the Committee and to the district Prosecutor's office to find out all the circumstances: what are the orders Gusev and how they relate to the permits Committee. We don't yet know what was allowed KGIOP. But we know that the law prohibited the reconstruction of the yard allotted $ 20 million. One glass is too much. Apparently, they go to stage two attics, not only one roof, as was decided at the Council for preservation of cultural heritage under the government of St. Petersburg. The Committee needs to answer. If you find that he allowed them two floors, so it is necessary to write to the Prosecutor, to sue the Committee, which had no right to give such permission. But if the Committee is not allowed and the Museum is ready for this, then blame the Museum. In the Service of the yard is a huge number of rooms, funds – 4th floor evicted. It is clear that if we were talking only about the roof, free of palaseja would not be required. In fact we are talking about cleansing the half or third of the premises of the Mikhailovsky Palace, including halls Surikov, Repin, Vereshchagin and others – 7 exhibition halls on the ground floor with a 30 in 36, it is written in the order Guseva from 9 August. At this time plans Stripping absolutely unreal – they want to clean up by 1 December. To move all it's virtually nowhere. Think about the Mikhailovsky castle, the Marble Palace later, then it all disappeared, and the timing of such an emergency – unless it all off in trucks like firewood, and somewhere to take. On the memo, written by the keepers, nobody pays attention. It seems that such an emergency the speed of movement of the collections is only needed in order that nobody did not understand what was happening, nor to challenge the actions of the Russian Museum in the Prosecutor's office and in court. – The rush can be tied to funding? Yes. The fact that 20 million of the $ 2.5 – is a loan from the world Bank. Strange – the Ministry of culture gives 17 million, and another 2.5 to give can not. And all the speed and speed depends on it in terms of the Bank loan. And, interestingly, in 2016 also mentioned this Bank, only then was discussed 2 yard and $ 30 million, now one yard and $ 20 million. Then in a few yards it was planned to make 7 the floors. From a comparison of these amounts it is clear that once again we refer to the floors. Then, too, was hysterical screaming, that if it is not approved before 31 December, the Bank of us will leave forever. It took 2 years – and again the Bank, which will not go away, again because of its conditions it is necessary to do everything quickly, not looking at what the Museum exhibits included in the register of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation, moved to prohibited and storage instructions conditions, or – as the scientific library – all nowhere. Besides the Museum, there was a rumor that somewhere on 15 September Gusev going whether in a hospital, or somewhere else, to disappear from the Museum. Perhaps he understands that all this is illegal. They say his responsibilities will be to perform new chief curator of Babina, which, apparently, is willing to stick his head in the noose. Babin, who came from Barnaul, before doing the virtual Museum, there are pictures on the website. And after these pictures, she became the Deputy Director. The key thing to remember: all that they're going to build, is a direct violation of the law. The team from the last effort struggling with Babīna and orders Guseva, encourage them to pack and go – or nowhere, or in unsuitable premises. That is the team of the Russian Museum, rather, it concerned the part actually leads the direction of the Museum of the civil war. A guide caught the scent of a million. – Do you think that will change the situation an appeal to the Prosecutor? – I do not think that prosecutors all at once will stop, or someone is arrested. Russian Museum under the Ministry of culture, which is in Federal submission. But prosecutors in the field, at least, shall conduct the review proceeding, to collect documents, comprehensive content about what they're doing. And, in theory, transmit to the Prosecutor General, but it can do everything to stop it via submission to the Minister of culture. She wants to do it or not, I don't know. However, review proceedings the district Prosecutor's office will allow applicants to read all documents which will be requested at the Russian Museum. And there will be a complete picture, including that there are going to be implemented, – said Mikhail Zolotonosov. The Director of Russian Museum Vladimir Gusev to the question about his attitude to the treatment of employees in the Prosecutor's office stated that they, in his opinion, engaged in lies and fraud, but to explain for the record what these fraud, refused. Leading researcher of the Department of ancient Russian art Irina Shalina believes that an appeal to the Prosecutor – this is the last hope to achieve at least some justice and understanding of the situation. – Planned overhaul of the yard with some construction, but no one at the Museum until the administration, except the ringleaders, did not understand how it would be. How is that possible? The Museum is located in a historic building from the XIX century, the creation of Carlo Russia. How is it possible to conceive there is even minimal alterations, without notifying employees of the Museum and the entire community? It's not just a monument, the building of the Mikhailovsky Palace by the decision of the government is listed among the most valuable objects. And by law, no adjustment in such buildings is unacceptable. Why this project is moving secretly behind the staff of the Museum for many years, we do not know. This is the first reason of the appeal to the Prosecutor. The second is that we wrote a detailed joint letter to Vladimir Alexandrovich, there were 96 signatures, but he did not deign even officially on letterhead and signed – answer it. He gave us a table: on the left a piece of our writing, the right explanation is that it is not unfounded and unproven. Yes, in some places it is said that some Fund gets even more room than it has, but what is this room? The area had a large, and height – will fit there our shelves, racks? Or bronislawa is the most valuable exhibits with precious metals and precious stones of the time of the tenth century, all of this is on account of not only the Ministry of culture and the Ministry of Finance. For her found a room with sufficient space, but work there is impossible due to the incredible heat and ventilation in such a short time is impossible. Window for the user to access strictly prohibited, as they should be for nets and iron bars. And there are people working from morning till evening, spend a long jewelry expertise. Nothing in this letter is not explained – and so you can go on each item. – What about facilities that are closed? How do we move from morning till night to carry the exhibits, and then to do their normal work? They will be closed for at least a year and a half, the halls are covered, and there are parts of some other expositions. In one of the halls planted the scientific Department – so then these rooms will need to restore. And why should we lose the scientific library – it is unclear how many years? This is a unique library for art, there is a numbered folios, they are stored in the historical cabinets at 5 feet tall – how will they be transported? And how do we move from morning till night to carry the exhibits, and then to do their normal work? And another thing: in the Museum only one day off, Tuesday. Instructions forbidden to wear the exhibits during the working day, not to mention things from bronceado. And as we all figure this out over 2 months – in which only 8 weekends? Tatiana Sventurata, senior researcher of the Department of drawing, also signed the letter to the Prosecutor. – It was signed by basically the keepers of the departments that are located around the yard, and I'm not a guardian, although he was 28 years old, but I am one of those employees who worked here the longest. I support this petition to the Prosecutor's office, but it seems to me, there in vain in vain made such an emphasis on moving, packing and on the time it will take. Yes, all this is true, and the premises are not prepared, and it is terrible, but my biggest concern is what will be destroyed courtyard Rossi.

I believe that first we have to think about the courtyard inside the most beautiful buildings in St. Petersburg. It is impossible to penetrate the old architecture and spoil her – Rossi just made those two yards, they're for ventilation and for lighting rooms, whose Windows out there. Ahead of the 2000-year anniversary of the Palace in 2025 and 125 years of the Museum, and the anniversaries were going to break the creation of Rossi. Another employee of the Russian Museum, Zoe, Percevic also believes that the new project will bring to the Museum some problems: – We do not understand where this wish to destroy the core of the Palace. Why not just put a Service Elevator to the stairs, as is done always in old houses? The outputs from the Elevator would be just on its sites. I have a suspicion that our management just wants to get back to his old chosen project, which they have failed to hold in 2016. In the treatment of employees of the Russian Museum to the Prosecutor's office contains, among other things, the request to request from the administration of the Museum's ”working project of reconstruction of the inner courtyards of the Mikhailovsky Palace with the legend and explanatory note to it to determine the possible risks of damage of the object of cultural heritage”.