''We are like the dog in the manger — have already lost a huge number of objects!''

The board of Tatarstan Committee on protection of cultural heritage objects lost Irek Fayzullin at a meeting

''We are like the dog in the manger — have already lost a huge number of objects!'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

The five-star hotel Kazan Palace by Tasigo in the building of the former Shamovskaya hospital is ready to open — it remains only to set a date. This has become a breaking news at an annual board meeting of the Tatarstan Committee on Protection of Cultural Heritage. Besides, the board meeting announced the first results of the inventory of the cultural heritage objects of Tatarstan, held by the committee established six months ago. The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya watched the course of the meeting.

The main thing — to ''stake out'' the boundaries of the monument

As usual, the speeches of the board members were preceded by a video presentation. At the end of the colourful film, Chairman of the Committee on Protection of Cultural Heritage Ivan Gushchin pleased the participants of the board with the news that violations of the security legislation can now be reported to the committee through the hot line or WhatsApp messenger. Then he cited figures and facts. If the ''film'' was about success in restoring the most famous and ''politically important'' historical and cultural objects, this time the picture was presented to the board members in every detail:

''According to the results of the inventory, it has been revealed that cadastral works are required with a view to update the data on borders of territories of 566 objects in the Unified State Real Estate Register (EGRN). 374 objects requite development of a buffer zone, and 414 facilities — installing informational signs and symbols…''

Ivan Gushchin pleased the participants of the board with the news that violations of the security legislation can now be reported to the committee through the hot line or WhatsApp messenger

But the staff of the committee, created six months ago, already managed to do something, as it turned out:

''In general, in 2018 we put on state protection and included 12 objects of cultural heritage in the register. Another 90 objects were added to the list of identified objects, 12 of them are objects of archaeological heritage. In addition, 78 projects of territorial boundaries for cultural heritage objects were developed, 63 objects of protection and 103 security obligations were approved… In December 2018, a preparatory work was carried out to establish the boundaries of territories in respect of 566 objects of cultural heritage, the information about which is not available in the Unified State Real Estate Register.''

At the end of his speech, Gushchin stressed the importance of work on the introduction of boundaries of cultural heritage in the EGRN. Only this, he gave to understand, can subsequently keep excessively zealous investors from alterations bordering on the destruction of historical monuments.

''Everyone can take part in this''

Deputy Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, Executive Director of the non-profit organization Republican Fund for Revival of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Tatarstan Tatyana Larionova also spoke mainly about the achievements and emphasized ''the results of large-scale work on the revival of the now world-famous shrines — ancient Bolgar and the island-town of Sviyazhsk''.

She particularly stressed that both of these objects were ''provided with tourism, engineering and transport infrastructure, which led to an increase in the tourist flow in 2018 in total to 1 million 300,000 people (compared to 2010 — 15 times).

Larionova proposed to develop and approve a special programme to ensure the safety and development of world heritage objects of the Republic of Tatarstan

Also, Tatiana Larionova said that the Revival Fund, ''having completed the work on the objects, in fact, transfers the coordinating role to the new committee'', but ''the plans for the management of objects must be approved by the normative documents of the Cabinet of Ministers and it must be done immediately'', as this condition is set by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. To this end, Larionova proposed to develop and approve a special programme to ensure the safety and development of world heritage objects of the Republic of Tatarstan. For this, the initiative group has already developed the draft law ''on amendments to the law of the Republic of Tatarstan No. 60-ZRT 'On cultural heritage in the Republic of Tatarstan'', and now the Committee on Protection of Cultural Heritage, together with the State Council and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan is going to finalize it, Larionova said.

Tourists brought a lot of money to Bolgar

In unison to the previous speaker was the speech of the head of the Spassky municipal district, Kamil Nugaev. He not only gave a detailed list of historical and cultural monuments of the district illustrated by slides, but also supported with figures the point that preservation of historical memory — a business is not only useful, but also profitable.

''Over the years, the project has radically changed the economic component of our district,'' said Kamil Nugaev. ''The flow of tourists increased by 18 times and in 2017 amounted to 540,000 people… The district centre — the city of Bolgar — is being improved, over the years 19,2 kilometres of streets have been asphalted, 6,7 kilometres of sidewalks have been landscaped. 67,600 square metres of housing were built and put into operation, including 107 new premises for resettlement of residents from the reserve.''

According to the head of the Spassky district, since 1994, in connection with the implementation of programmes for the preservation of cultural heritage, more than 12,4 billion rubles have been received there. From 2010 to 2018, the gross territorial product of the district increased more than twofold — from 2,26 to 5,11 billion rubles. The welfare of residents has increased, but alas, not so much: the average salary, which was 16,500 rubles in 2008, increased in 2018 to 24,500 rubles.

In fact, only the restored facades have left from the Shamovskaya hospital

History in the process of restoration has been evicted

At the junction of the development of tourism and the restoration and preservation of historical and cultural heritage, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company Polimeks successfully made a speech, the company was entrusted with the reconstruction of the cultural heritage of regional importance — the city Shamovskya hospital. Erol Tabanca showed the participants of the board a film about a luxurious five-star hotel, which was turned into an old clinic by Turkish investors. He spoke about the difficulties of carrying out construction works, in particular, that the time within which the slope of the hill was constructed with new facilities, the historical building, in order to avoid a collapse, had to be reinforced with a system of 123 spacers.

In the end, now only the restored facades have left from the Shamovskaya hospital. But the ''filling'' of the new five-star hotel Kazan Palace by Tasigo has nothing to do with history — everything is done with the cutting-edge fashion and technology: 66 elite rooms, a banquet hall for 600 people, four conference rooms, SPA areas and restaurants. Erol Tabanca with pride told that not yet opened, but fully ready to receive guests hotel has already been marked with the first award — the 2018 European Property Awards in the nomination ''Best New Hotel Construction & Design''. And he expressed hope that this is only the beginning.

As for the historical spirit, investors have given it a place outside the historic building. Tabanca said it is about ''some historical sites, dismantled and disinfected during the work''.

''These values come to the fore,'' Mintimer Shaimiev stressed the importance of preserving the historical heritage

''We take care and people like it!''

The line under the results of the Board of the Committee on Protection of Cultural Heritage was drawn by two presidents of Tatarstan — the first and the current.

''These values come to the fore,'' Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Republican Fund for the revival of monuments of history and culture Mintimer Shaimiev stressed the importance of preserving the historical heritage and recalled the expectations of the population of the republic and the responsibility for this work of local governments. ''The time has come for responsibility, and this responsibility makes us better. We take care, and people like it. But more importantly, what is being done and how to ensure the protection for them [the monuments]!''

Rustam Minnikhanov expressed gratitude to Turkish investors for the Shamovskaya hospital, noting that ''it was our big problem'' and that before their arrival ''the object had been abandoned'', noted ''the huge work carried out during the existence of the Revival Fund'', and thanked the president of Russia in absentia for ''comprehensive support, including financial one''.

The Tatarstan president announced a new project — the creation of the centre of competence of wooden architecture

Competition as the basis of restoration

The Tatarstan president announced a new project — the creation of the centre of competence of wooden architecture. He noted the popularity among tourists of the Sviyazhsk Museum of Archeology of Wood, and then recalled that the issue of restoration of monuments of wooden architecture in the region is acute, and the region has no local experts, so they have to spend money on attracting them from other regions.

''They're very expensive. If we could train such people, the cost [of restoration] would be lower, and there would be a competition… Is the ministry of construction present here?'' the president looked around the audience in search of the minister of construction. ''Where is Irek [Fayzullin]?''

''In Almetyevsk,'' someone said.

''What is he doing there, in Almetyevsk?''

''He's being with the prime minister …''

''Ok,'' Rustam Minnikhanov was not quite satisfied and addressed to the representative of the Main Investing Constructing Administration of the Republic of Tatarstan, who was present at the meeting. ''This work is very specific…''

Then it was the turn of the minister of information and communication, Roman Shaykhutdinov, whom the president immediately instructed to get involved in the work of accounting for cultural heritage.

In conclusion, Minnikhanov pointed out to Gushchin the need to ''change the form of work, not to wait for people to come to you, but to find people'' ready to join in the restoration of historical and cultural monuments:

''We are like the dog in the manger, we have already lost a huge number of objects!.. We need to work competently and effectively with investors. There need to be specialists, there need to be a competition!''

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By Inna Serova. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Tatarstan

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