Prilepin's headquarters interviews Olesya Baltusova

Prilepin's headquarters interviews Olesya Baltusova
Photo: Vasily Ivanov

Yekaterina Vaneeva, the coordinator of the Cultural Front project of the Zakhar Prilepin movement, has come to Kazan this week to shoot episodes for a film about heritage in Russia. The film will be shown next week in the State Duma. In Tatarstan, Vaneeva met with the assistant to the president of the republic, Olesya Baltusova, and told Realnoe Vremya about the new award “Banderlogs of Culture”.

“The owners did not finish, abandoned, did not resell”

The meeting was held in the office of Olesya Baltusova, at the beginning of the conversation she reminded that she had been engaged in historical heritage in the office of the President of Tatarstan for 10 years. Previously, she worked in the field of tourism and in the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

“Over these years, we have seen a huge breakthrough," said the assistant to the president of the Republic of Tatarstan. “A lot has been done, we have raised the legacy from the ruins, the bulk of it. Those monuments that were ownerless were handed over to the owner's hands.

Baltusova pointed out that now almost all objects of cultural heritage have been purchased, while there are buildings in Chistopol and Yelabuga that are a source of concern.

Olesya Baltusova: “Over the years, we have seen a huge breakthrough. A lot has been done, we have raised the legacy from the ruins, the bulk of it. Those monuments that were ownerless were handed over to the owner's hands”

Yekaterina Vaneeva, the coordinator of the Cultural Front project of the For Truth movement, was particularly interested in the Strategy for Preserving Cultural Heritage in 2017-2030. Baltusova reminded that it had been developed by Farida Zabirova, the chairman of the Tatarstan Republican Branch of All-Russian Society for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments, and approved the idea of the appearance of such strategy in other cities:

“I think this is very useful, because when development is underway, a lot of specialists are involved in it. It's a team, interesting writing work.

As for the work of owners in buildings, Olesya Baltusova pointed out that tourist facilities — cafes, restaurants, service facilities, museums — are located mainly in historical estates, houses. It is very rare for people to live in such an object.

At the same time, she noted that in the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda settlement, on the streets of Karla Marksa, Bolshaya Krasnaya, Lobachevsky, there are a lot of houses with decent facades, but inside which it is empty:

“The owners did not finish, abandoned, did not resell — a long-term contribution to real estate. This is already causing our concerns.”

Olesya Baltusova: “The owners did not finish, abandoned, did not resell — a long-term contribution to real estate. This is already causing our concerns”

“Banderlogs of Heritage” are coming

Yekaterina Vaneeva said that the idea of the film arose shortly after the meeting in 2018 of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Zakhar Prilepin, as the leader of the Volunteers of Culture project. During the conversation, an instruction was announced on the introduction of historical objects into economic circulation.

“In fact, 3 years have passed, and we decided to see how this is implemented in the regions, how the authorities support some public organisations, how objects are put into circulation," said Vaneeva. “We started consulting with experts in the field of cultural heritage. They recommended Tatarstan to us as a positive example, because there really is a development strategy here, and tourism is developing. That is, the president's instructions are being executed.

It is impossible not to notice that the process of “revitalising” houses was going on for other reasons besides assignments. According to Vaneeva, the work is currently underway on a film about the preservation of cultural heritage, including on the example of our republic. Perhaps later, there will be new paintings dedicated to other regions or specific topics.

Yekaterina Vaneeva: “They recommended Tatarstan to us as a positive example, because there really is a development strategy here, and tourism is developing. That is, the president's instructions are being executed”

This time, the film crew visited St. Petersburg, where the Academician Boris Piotrovsky Cultural Heritage Centre with the exposition “History of the movement in Defense of St. Petersburg” has recently opened. It is timed to the 55th anniversary of the local branch of theAll-Russian Society for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments.

Also, in the film we will see Ryazan, which officially became a historical settlement last year, where people live in wooden houses and public organisations operate. Nizhny Novgorod will also be shown — as a negative example:

“In Nizhny Novgorod, in connection with the celebration of the anniversary, we are faced with that they are chasing deadlines there. Unfortunately, it always goes to the detriment of the object of cultural heritage and objects of the historical environment," said Vaneeva. “A lot of money has been poured in, but the houses are abandoned, homeless people come there.

After the State Duma, the film will be shown at the ceremony of awarding the new award “Banderlogs of Heritage”. This, quoting the project's website, is “The open register and anti-award of individuals, experts, companies and public authorities who have distinguished themselves in harming the cultural heritage of the Russian people — both material and symbolic”.

“It is absolutely not political," says Vaneeva. “Ordinary citizens send applications there. As a result, requests are sent, the situation is studied carefully. There is a council that decides who will receive this award. It was created not to stigmatise someone, but to make people realise that cultural heritage needs to be nurtured.

Yekaterina Vaneeva: “In Nizhny Novgorod, in connection with the celebration of the anniversary, we are faced with that they are chasing deadlines there. Unfortunately, this always goes to the detriment of the object of cultural heritage and objects of historical environment”

The film, which includes episodes about the preservation of monuments in Tatarstan, will be presented next week in the State Duma.

Radif Kashapov. Photo: Vasily Ivanov
Tatarstan
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