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Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky



About self-repayment of museums



Published in Russian: ..  . , . 4. ., 2001.




The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.






The need for this conversation is long overdue, but the immediate "catalyst" was a situation which at first glance seems strange. But only at first glance.

Have to start from afar. In 1956, the party and the government" has made a decision on arrangement unsightly vacant lot opposite the main entrance to the Park of Culture, and it was decided to build on Krymsky Val "Park of Arts". Development of the project was entrusted to the staff of the Studio-school of academician zholtovskogo. After his death in 1959, the team led the authors Yuri sheverdyaev and now still alive Nicholas Sukoyan.

Originally planned construction of two buildings: one whole under the halls of the Tretyakov gallery, and the second - under the exhibition halls of the Union of artists of the USSR. The second set directly on the axis of the colonnade of the Park of Culture, was to play the role of compositional centre and outwardly resemble the Kremlin Palace of Congresses.

Why not build a second building - there are two conflicting versions. According to one of them, it overlaps the so-called "produh" green wedges formed Neskuchny gardens, parks of Culture and reaching almost to the factory "Red October". According to another version, more prosaically: in a separate building just don't have enough money.

In fact, both versions of several dubious: "produh" has been thoroughly blocked the Garden Ring, and the state of Soviet artists" usually helps... But anyway, at the junction of the fifties and sixties, it was decided to merge the Central house of artists and the new halls of the state Tretyakov gallery under one roof, and about to 1962, the project of the huge building was ready. It took two-thirds of the state Tretyakov gallery and the third - CHA, so we will call it simply - Home.

Moscow-river - not the Dnieper, so that it looked a little wider, the House pushed deep into the Park. Initially it was planned as the main Museum complex in the capital, on this basis, and all were designed Suite rooms. Note that we package them actively took an active part mV Alpatov and Budarin, who was at that time members of the Board of the state Tretyakov gallery.

On the smooth facade of the House will be installed sculptural reliefs symbolizing... no, not the unity of the labour proletariat and collective farmers, and quite canonical muses. Competition for their manufacture have won brilliant monumentalists Alla Pologova, Tatyana Sokolova and Andrey Vasnetsov. Moreover, the foam were made life-size model was even made to test the installation, but then again it is not "grow together", and again there are two versions: a prose - not enough money, political - banned ideologues.

However, paradoxically, the first version is preferable. The thing is that put forward by the slogan of the cost of construction, effective on the five-story building, has resulted in a unique House funds allocated... on the basis of typical prices per cubic meter volume of concrete structures. Architects have to say a huge thank you at least for the fact that they are in such tight financial conditions have been able to build a House.

They built a long and painful, and only in 1975 opened CHA. Ten years later, in 1985 - the Tretyakov gallery. Muscovites remember when on the place of the halls of the state Tretyakov gallery, which was financed by the state budget, was still only laid the Foundation, and the USSR artists ' Union, more quickly raspolagavshejsya means of khudfond already finished the construction of its part of the House almost to the roof.

Built in the principle of monotonous facades of the House was supposed to set off a stormy green - Park was planned as an analog of the Summer Garden. But the area around the CHA owned (and still belong), Moscow city authorities are in no hurry to invest in improvements of the Union (and later Federal) ownership, and in the end we got what we see now. Single trees, lawns, vacant lots interspersed with variegated sculpture, and promising significant place between the house and the river occupied untidy collapse cheap salon painting.

This status quo has developed in the mid-nineties, while... And here we turn to our immediate subject.




The matter is that about the same time, in the mid-nineties, somewhere deep in the bowels of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation, desperate miserable state funding, ripe slogan: "Museums - self-sufficient!"

What does this mean in practice?

Muscovites remember the exhibition in the Pushkin Museum "history of the brand "Martini". How was the Museum with the producers of alcoholic beverage, and remained a mystery, but they say - either 25000 dollars, or 100,000, or even more. Don't we look into the pocket of the Pushkin Museum, but the blow to the prestige of this wonderful Museum suffered considerable. After this we were not surprised by the " embroidered boot from Yudashkin at the Museum of private collections. But that being said, even flowers.

When the State Museum of the East was established commercial gallery "Sean", which aims to... examination of things, brought by citizens and organizations to sell to the Museum. Yes, the examination for the state Museum are not Museum workers and merchants! What this means, how much of Museum values in the end floats "on the side", it is easy to guess. But it is also more flowers.

Berry begins when semi-legality commercialization goes into massive hauling. If the Museum is self-sustaining, why would an ordinary employee, too, it does not move?

- Steal? - asked the character of Gorky. Is your take! - was the answer.

The recent theft of Hermitage paintings of the French artist Jean known to all. But few people know that in this day and protection of the Museum was put something like a plan "Interception", that is, all outgoing officers "to inspect". The picture of Jerome not found, but during the day it was discovered 5 values handed down from the Museum! Special sanctions followed. Someone ripped off in time inventory number and announced that brought the Museum's own curiosity (I wonder why?), and now it is now going to take her home.

In principle, every Museum should be reserved for those or other custodian, for which he is liable. But in the same Hermitage tens of thousands of exhibits savers do not have. Slightly better situation in other museums - in fact, exhibits many small savers, and the salary of the Keeper... from 2000 up to 2500 rubles, that is from 70 to 90 dollars a month.

Those who raise a hand to throw a stone in a Museum? Few people. But in the heads of state, scoff at those who retain a great spiritual heritage of Russia, flying stones. But they did not pierce - they are strong and rich, they decide to allocate whether millions of dollars to build monuments Tsereteli and personal museums Shilov and Glazunov, or the money a little bit to make life easier for Museum workers. The calculation is simple: "only" $ 10 million (which is the scale Tsereteli quite a bit) - 280 million rubles. Within 100 months (eight years) to pay 1000 (one thousand) Museum workers by 2800 rubles for a raise in excess of their basic salary.

But no! Officials from culture just talk and have their own health: the continuously to go begging in the state and the city Duma, to the President and to the mayor, to remind about their existence and seek to increase funding, allow me a lot of museums self-sufficient! We have a democracy and pluralism, so let him survive as best they can!




And what have the House on Krymsky Val? Here's the answer. Two-three years ago the Director of one of the commercial structures, leasing from the state Tretyakov gallery square, has left on a management of the Tretyakov gallery with the "initiative": I supposedly there investor, let's build in the courtyard of the hotel, restaurant and office complex!

Anyone with a little bit of a prestigious building in Moscow on such dubious offers received many, but there was a miracle. The bureaucratic machine suddenly spun with unprecedented speed. The city hall was declared closed (and well-paid - municipal budget allocated about 50 thousand dollars) a contest for the best reconstruction project of the House, there were more than ten options, of which the jury selected four "best", have the approval of the "best of the best" by the mayor of Moscow.

I emphasize - the mayor of Moscow, despite the fact that the House on the third is owned by public organizations of the CIS (the International Confederation of unions of artists), and two-thirds were in the Federal property. What does Moscow? The owner of the Park around the House? So let the city Council refines the Park, the promenade, the surrounding of the house - they really need. But the House is in excellent condition, renovated, why spend money for its reconstruction?

This "prove" in words like: "...This is one of the most mediocre buildings of the city, which might not be so bad if it had not been so great and not there would be for such a prominent place" (Nikolay Malinin, "Nezavisimaya Gazeta").

At this Grigory Revzin in Kommersant reasonable objection: "it is not clear what happens. It is a good, clean modern building. The Museum, by the way. No boiler room. Suddenly someone is ripe dissatisfaction - and most respected wizard rushed to work. In Moscow, many objects with far more overripe dissatisfaction.

But it is unclear intelligent person, in consideration of the moral and aesthetic aspects of the issue. In the context, so to speak, service to God. And those who serve mammon, another system of values, and they all understand something: have a chance to earn! It seems to be beneficial to all, for a hypothetical investor's profits, and for TG "recovery", and for the city of profit (hotels, restaurants and offices, unlike museums, pay taxes).

Forgot just about Art.

Forgot about the fact that none of the projects that won the competition, may not provide for uninterrupted operation of the state Tretyakov gallery and the Central house of artists during the reconstruction! The project of Evgeny AssA offers a simple oblitsevat House mirror glass and put a turn around the wooden columns was not too cheap, it had not paid.

Forget about the fact that the availability of the hotel in the middle of the Tretyakov gallery creates an atmosphere that is fundamentally different from the temple. Yes, these are not empty words! Art is a temple, and a visit to the Museum - a kind of ritual. That is how his childhood and takes most people. And the merchants from the temple were expelled two thousand years ago. However, attempts to return, they never leave, and the proof is absurd and criminal museums offer "pay for themselves".

Lost and the fact that today the state Tretyakov gallery exhibition "Art of XX century" - the best in Russia. If you want the pride of the country. Naturally, if the courtyard will go a large construction project, the exhibition will close - noise, dust... And what the spectator will get in return? Exposition chaotic Museum of modern art at Petrovka, 25, to which neither the metro will not get any machine not picking? Maybe the new Museum of the Academy of arts on Prechistenka, 19, even more unpalatable and sense of exposition, and in the meaning of transport?

Lost and the fact that closing the CHA and does turn into a real tragedy. Today it is the only in Moscow (Russia) exhibition complex of modern art, go to the mass audience and to the cashier stand in long queues. Accordingly, the artist has the opportunity to exhibit at the Central house of artists with great efficiency. The organization of the exhibition is expensive? Yes, but remember if the artists and those in power that three years ago the CHA was deprived of all privileges on communal payments and, for example, neighbouring GTG pay several times less? Is this situation can be called normal?

But the artist in Moscow and the Federal government attitude is even more dismissive than to the Museum. Last - albeit a minor, but still civil servants, and the artist - in itself. At breakeven, so to speak.

However, all the above can "disprove": this is what our government does not like artists? There Tsereteli, Shilov and Glazunov pump from the budget of millions of dollars! And the rest may write for the needs of power, you see, and they get anything!

In these terrible grip - on the one hand the market, with another official - the art of doing nothing. Until recently, the chance of survival true creators gave the museums, but they have now, then, "self-sufficiency". So, in place of the House in Krymsky Val will rise office-hotel complex, and around it will be empty remains exhibition halls, in which for the time of reconstruction of the audience, of course, the road will forget.

On the Navy command is: "to Save on power." It is given to the captain when the ship is sinking, and all the boats in the battle defeated. In fact, such a command given by the Russian government Russian art. No sooner do?

  Sergey Zagraevsky

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