Golden fund: Tatarstan National Museum to grow by 5,000 square metres
All the funds in the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan are going to be available. So visitors will be able to see almost a million of items with their own eyes. Now only a part of the most valuable exhibits can be seen due to the absence of an exhibition area. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.
This year it is the anniversary of the fire that almost destroyed very valuable funds as well as the very building of the National Museum in December 1987. The building was four-storeyed at that moment. Twenty offices were located there besides the museum.
Thanks to the courage of firemen and museum workers, both the building and exhibits were saved from fire and water. There were losses, of course. But they were not as big as they could have been.
After the fire, the museum's building was restored, of course. And nothing reminded about the misfortune very soon. The building had only two floors, the historical appearance was back. The museum building was lucky some time later – it was in the programme on the restoration of one part of Kazan houses by the city's millennium.
Then the restoration of the museum's appearance was initiated by Mintimer Shaimiev and Kamil Iskhakov who were the president of Tatarstan and mayor of Kazan respectively. One of the buildings located in the First May Square and on Kremlin Street were completely restored.
But the hot-button topic of almost all the Russian museums – museum depositories – did not pass Tatarstan's major museum by as well. The question that the items did not have enough space in the designated rooms had been raised for many years. In the end, a building for the exhibits was allocated, it was in the museum yard. But it was impossible to use it – the building was admitted to be in an emergency state.
''We wrote letters asking to help reconstruct this building, I talked to the president of the republic about it. Finally, on 17 April 2016, Rustam Minnikhanov visited the museum on his own and saw our problem with his own eyes. A certain movement towards its solution began. We had many allies. As a result, everything was solved only after the Tatarstan president interfered,'' Director of the National Museum Gulchachak Nazipova told Realnoe Vremya.
From coins to carriage
The building where the funds will be located in the future is over 5,000 square metres. Of course, it is impossible to say that all the problems of the museum workers will be solved. The Tatarstan National Museum is a growing organism, funds constantly appear there. Nevertheless, the new building is a kind of breakthrough. The gimmick is that the funds will be available.
''We want to make our perimeter of buildings a big museum centre. We created a concept that open funds will be not only in the former building of Geological Exploration but also on Profsoyuznaya Street. We consider ourselves a methodical centre for our republic. This is why we want to have, first of all, an available fund, we want to open everything. Undoubtedly, we should create the history of Tatarstan since ancient times until today,'' the director of the Tatarstan National Museum shares the plans.
According to the idea of the museum workers, not only history but also the modern time needs to be exhibited. For instance, products of modern Tatarstan enterprises can be shown in open funds. It won't be an exhibition of goods but acquaintance with Tatarstan's industrial potential.
''Now we are doing a tense job that is not seen to visitors. We have a plan for visitors. We are also building other museums. Our branches are also reconstructed – the museums of Gabdulla Tukay, Sharif Kamal, Salikh Saidashev – where regional officials support us,'' Gulchachak Nazipova notes.
Now fund workers also joined the work. They are creating the concept of every future open fund. It is quite a complicated job. This is why it is important to decide how to present exhibits in the best way. For instance, a chronological exposition can be made in Archaeology as well as presentation of collections collected by different people. The same thing is in Ethnography, Numismatics. The museum workers are consulting with the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences about it.
As Gulchachak Nazipova told, several Russian funds, for example, the State Hermitage and Polytechnic Museum, already have open funds. And this practice justified itself. People's interest in museum collections has grown. But they are rich federal museums with a good budget, and their exhibits were restored.
Museum workers in Tatarstan don't have such money for restoration, and this question will come to the surface before creating open funds. Museum workers include costs for restoration of exhibits in each of the programmes within targeted financing. Unfortunately, nowadays Russia doesn't have a separate targeted programme whose money would go to restore exhibits. Although this problem was discussed in hearings both in the State Duma and the Russian Ministry of Culture.
''Restoration is a very expensive pleasure. 85% of the exhibits we are going to show in open fund need restoration,'' Gulchachak Nazipova notes. In general, the National Museum has a collection of almost a million of items.
The museum workers are going to show all their exhibits in the open funds. But there is a problem. For instance, the coins that total over 100,000 in the museum collections. More valuable coins will be exhibited. The others will be scanned and presented online. The same thing will happen to documents and photos. Other things will be exhibited. And not only in the new building that will be restored soon. Environmental and ethnographic collections will be exhibited in the building on Profsoyuznaya Street.
Design and survey works have already begun in the building where one part of open funds will be. Then a contest on the reconstruction project of the future fund depository with open funds will be announced… The government of Tatarstan has already expended the money. But Gulchachak Nazipova did not name the sum.