Media Review

12 march, 2012 14:40

Rossiyskaya gazeta: "Museum charges"

Vladimir Putin suggested ending the debate on renovating the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will meet with museum employees soon.

Minister of Culture Alexander Avdeyev told Putin, that there are many issues to discuss, adding that there are good things to say as well. Avdeyev said the restoration and renovation of museums proceeded despite the economic downturn. Over the past three years, the total exhibit area in Russian museums increased by 43,000 square metres, while the number of visitors increased by 2.5 million people, including more young people.

Avdeyev told the prime minister about the project to expand the Hermitage museums, which is currently under way and the renovation of the Pushkin Museum, which is only starting. Cultural life is buzzing outside Moscow and St Petersburg as well. Avdeyev mentioned the Tula Weapons Museum that stands out due to its peculiar architectural design, it was built in the shape of a traditional Russian spiked helmet.

"Many governors now understand that the quality of life in their regions can improve with the development of museums. Judging by my visits there, most governors not only help local museums but they are also their active visitors. However, there are some exceptions ," said Adveyev.

According to Adveyev, the State Military and History Museum-Reserve "Prokhorovskoye polye" will be one of the best museums in the country. Museums are being renovated in Vladikavkaz, in Tsarskoye Selo and in Saransk.

"A great country must have a big museum of contemporary art. We don't have such a museum in Moscow," said Adveyed, adding, that they are planning a large museum of contemporary art in the city. The government resolution is signed, the necessary funds have been allocated and now Moscow authorities are searching for a good site for the museum.

"We should stop debating the renovation of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts," said Putin. Avdeyev reported that the project had been published on the internet and that responses vary. Putin advised Avdeyev to listen to the opinion of the museum's employees.

"Don't tighten the funding on this project. We must improve the working conditions in the museum."

According to Avdeyev, the reconstruction of the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre is in full swing.

"The reconstruction decision was not only correct, but also taken at the right time. The project involves much more work than we initially believed, because everything, from the foundation to the walls, has been infected with rot and there are huge cracks," said Avdeyev. The project will require an additional 3 billion roubles and should be completed in December this year.

"Of course, we will certainly find the funds for such a renowned theatre," agreed Putin.

Putin also met with Karelia's Governor, Andrei Nelidov.

Nelidov reported on the record increase in housing construction in his region, more than 50% over the year before, and how they managed to achieve such outstanding results. Another achievement in the region was the cost of flats in newly constructed buildings, which is slightly over 34,000 roubles per square metre (when the programme was launched the figure was at least 45,000 roubles). In addition, buyers are offered good mortgage packages, including a 10 percent interest rate to be repaid over ten years

Nelidov thanked Putin for his timely decisions regarding the programme for expedited consumer access to the gas system and spoke about Spiritual Transformation of the North, a project aimed at tourism development in the region.

Meanwhile, now that Vladimir Putin has been re-elected President, he will follow a clear plan:

"His first term was a reanimation of the country, his second term was the rehabilitation of the country, and now begins the physical and spiritual development of the country - its economy and all areas," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told First Channel. He knows where he will go, what he will do, how he will do it, when, and with whom.


Putin advised Avdeyev to listen to the opinion of the museum's employees.

"Don't tighten the funding on this project. We must improve the working conditions in the museum."

Kira Latukhina