Gulchachak Nazipova: ‘This year the National Museum will have only one exhibition, but what an exhibition will it be!’

What awaits guests on a new united static exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the TASSR

Gulchachak Nazipova: ‘This year the National Museum will have only one exhibition, but what an exhibition will it be!’
Photo: courtesy of Tatarstan National Museum

Director General of the National Museum of Tatarstan Gulchachak Nazipova told Realnoe Vremya in an interview what losses and acquisitions the museum’s workers went out of the quarantine, what the upcoming grandiose exposition would have and what rare items would leave the depository for the first time.

From golden duck to The Moabit Notebooks

Mrs Nazipova, how is the work on the exposition dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the TASSR going on? Will it be big?

A united static exhibition of the main museum of the republic dedicated to the history of Tatarstan since ancient times till now is created for the first time in many years. Its main idea is to show different eras through milestones. A man, activity of both famous and outstanding and ordinary people is in the centre of the show. The richness of the biggest museum fund of Tatarstan allows us to do this brightly and create an exposition rich in relics with authentic exhibits.

Which exhibit of this exposition can be called the most valuable, original and the rarest?

They are all valuable for me, including the archaeological artefacts, not to mention the golden duck — an adornment of early Volga Bulgaria. There is just a handful of such exhibits around the world. But Musa Jalil’s The Moabit Notebooks and Fatikh Karim’s front notebooks are unique in the world.

Musa Jalil’s The Moabit Notebooks. Photo: kzn.ru
A united static exhibition of the main museum of the republic dedicated to the history of Tatarstan since ancient times till now is created for the first time in many years. Its main idea is to show different eras through milestones.

Both GAZ and U-2

Will visitors see any exhibits for the first time?

Special attention is paid to the period when the TASSR was created. Here valuable exhibits will be shown — the first symbols of the republic: the coat of arms, maps and banners, personal belongings of political activists: Mullanur Vakhitov, Gayaz Iskhaki and others who founded it. Visitors will be able to see such important exhibits that only our old visitors remember for the first time in a long period: GAZ-A car, the famous Po-2 plane that was called U-2 first, which were in the holdings for over 30 years and have now been restored.

For the first time, the exposition will show a rare item — the Great Patriotic War-era GAZ lorry, it was found on battlefields of the Second Assault Army were our compatriots fought.

The modern republic will probably be shown in a compelling way too.

Yes, for the first time we are creating a site dedicated to modern Tatarstan. Here the focus will be made on the unique development of Tatarstan as a republic with a balance of interethnic and interreligious relations, there is a gradual innovative development in many spheres of life of society. Here products of leading industrial brands of Tatarstan, personal belongings of contemporaries, for instance, artists Ilkham Shakirov, Zilya Sungatullina, Albina Shagimuratova and others will be shown, materials about big sports events, for example, the full set of awards and the 2013 Universiade torch and so on.

Photo: sfu-kras.ru
For the first time we are creating a site dedicated to modern Tatarstan. Here products of leading industrial brands of Tatarstan, personal belongings of contemporaries, materials about big sports events, for example, the full set of awards and the 2013 Universiade will be shown

What a real museum worker should know

Could you tell us about the victory of your employee in Museum of the Year 2019 republican competition that ended immediately after isolation was lifted?

Lyudmila Agliullina, the head of the Research Department of the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan, became the winner of Museum of the Year 2019 competition. The competition Museum of the Year in general continues the tradition of museum contests we have organised since the early 90s. However, with time, we wanted to single out not only museums but also some specialists. Because a true museum worker is a rare creative job, they are like doctors — the more experienced the more valuable. This is why the nomination Professional appeared last year where managers and employees of state, municipal and ministerial museums of Tatarstan could participate in. Moreover, the working experience in a museum became an important condition of the participation — no fewer than five years.

The applications submitted for the competition were evaluated in a lot of criteria: active research, creative approach to professional tasks, projects with the latest museum technology, etc. There were submitted 10 applications in total. It isn’t much, but not bad for the first time.

How long has she been working in the museum? What does she do?

Mrs Agliullina has been working here since 2008. She has been actively participating in the organisation of republican scientific seminars and conferences of the Tatarstan National Museum and events of the Tatarstan Association of Museums, she is a member of the International Council of Museums. She created lectures and guidebooks, masters and holds excursions in the museum with interactive methods with different audiences, first of all, with the youth. She created and gives masterclasses, interactive lectures, organises museum quests, role-playing games. She tries to regularly give reports at international, all-Russian, regional, republican conferences, readings, seminars. She is a professional in general despite her relatively young age — she is 35 years old.

This isn’t probably the only victory of the National Museum in the competition?

No, but the victory in the nomination Professional became a milestone for us.

Lyudmila Agliullina, the head of the Research Department of the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan, became the winner of Museum of the Year 2019 competition. Photo: vk.com

Museum of the new era and strict rules

How are the museum and its branches going to work after the pandemic? How do you think the pandemic has influenced the operation of museums in general? Are there advantages, for instance, new ways of work?

We hope after the epidemiological situation improves, museums will start working to the full. Now we are meeting all sanitary rules: visitors are admitted to an exposition only if they have means of individual protection — masks and gloves, if social distancing is respected, there is regular disinfection, exposition halls are aired and so on. The current situation allowed the museum to introduce new methods of work with visitors having made a focus on holding events, lectures, museum classes, excursions and exhibitions online. So we have had Tatarstan Museum Spring campaign online for the first time, which attracted the attention of those who rarely went to the museum. Forced self-isolation pushed many museums into expanding their online footprint and attracting the attention of a wide audience to their collections and events. The change of the format showed that museums were ready to make changes to their operation and address challenges of the time.

Will the new rules, for instance, social distancing put down root? Because a museum is also communication of people, exchange of opinions, events.

Visitors’ safety is our priority. Of course, meeting sanitary norms complicates the communication between visitors and museum workers and the exhibits. Museums are a place for leisure and familiarisation with history and culture, open democratic space. We hope after the sanitary and epidemiological situation improves, the rules of social distancing will remain in the past. We will be glad about the return of violators of museum silence. But I think that this situation has taught us to follow basic personal hygiene rules. And, of course, this pushed us into the necessity of purchasing and installing special means to clean and disinfect the air.

Photo: Ilya Repin
We have to postpone our festival West-East: Patriotic Wars of Russia. The format of excursions, lectures and events has also changes, now we are servicing groups with no more than five people, focus on individual and urban excursions

West — East and others are postponed

How will, for instance, events in the museum courtyard like re-enactments take place in the new conditions? Will masterclasses, museum meetings and lectures change?

According to the republican administration’s decree, all mass events have been cancelled till the end of the year. Unfortunately, in this respect, we have to postpone our festival West-East: Patriotic Wars of Russia. The format of excursions, lectures and events has also changed, now we are servicing groups with no more than five people, focus on individual and urban excursions.

What other exhibitions can we see till the end of the year?

The opening of an exposition by the 100th anniversary of the TASSR History of Tatarstan since Ancient Times until now will become the milestone for us this year. Other scheduled exhibitions, unfortunately, have so far been postponed until next year.

By Anna Tarletskaya
Tatarstan