From guests to guides: Mintimer Shaimiev tells about his favourite photos at exhibition dedicated to him
The first president of Tatarstan gave a tour of the photo exhibition dedicated to his 85th birthday
The exhibition “Mintimer Shaimiev. Moments. Years. Epoch”, dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the first president of Tatarstan, has opened in the Khazine National Art Gallery. The tour of the exposition was conducted by the anniversarian himself, the State Councelor of the republic. Shaimiev told in detail about the meeting with his wife, about how the statue of Dashi Namdakov ended up in London and asked that the exhibition include the book “We Are Together” with a list of people who received new apartments under the programme for the resettlement of dilapidated housing. The exhibition, which the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya visited and where he communicated with the anniversarian, is open for a month.
“We managed to literally look into Shaimiev's family album”
“It was not easy to prepare this exhibition, after all, its hero is a public figure," Lilia Galimova, the head of the press service of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan, said at the opening. After working with the archives (in particular, of personal photographer of Mintimer Shaimiev Mikhail Kozlovsky and the collection of his assistant, Nursuya Shaydullina), we managed to collect 85 photos, among which there are many interesting shots unknown to the general public. Besides, the organisers of the exposition visited Mintimer Shaimiev in Borovoye Matyushino.
“We had the opportunity to literally look into Shaimiev's family album," Galimova emphasised.
The speakers at the opening were heads of the Administration of the President of Tatarstan of different years: acting Asgat Safarov, Vice-Speaker of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Yury Kamaltynov, and head of the Council of Municipalities of the republic Ekzam Gubaydullin.
“I am personally immensely happy that I was lucky to be with Mintimer Sharipovich these 30 years," Safarov said.“Under his wise guidance, fatherly care, many of us present grew up as statesmen.”
“Many things are remembered, but they sleep in the subconscious, all kinds of factors are needed to wake them up. Today's exhibition helps to recall past events," Gubaydullin noted.
“No events, exhibitions, of course, can reveal the full depth of this person," said Kamaltynov. “But we should pay tribute to the organisers: we are used to ceremonial, duty things, because a lot of photo albums have been published. And here there is something that could not be seen before.”
“You met me for the first time at the exhibition!”
After the first tour, during which officials shared their memories, the anniversarian came into the hall, who immediately cleared the air by addressing Galimova:
“This event is unique in that you met me for the first time at the exhibition!”
Mintimer Shaimiev began to tour the exposition, gradually turning from an observer into a storyteller. After seeing a picture of a crying woman thanking Shaimiev for a new apartment, he instructed him to go for the book “We Are Together!”, which contains the names of Tatarstan residents who moved during the unique programme for the resettlement of dilapidated housing in Russia.
“When we completed the whole programme, believe me, not a single house was left unaccounted for, everyone got housing," Shaimiev shared his memories.
The book was soon brought, the anniversarian showed a very voluminous edition listing the names and addresses of the participants of the programme. The inscription “To be continued...” already hinted at the implementation of the social mortgage programme.
Near the two pictures — the statue of Dashi Namdakov and the meeting with Hillary Clinton — he remembered how interested the Buryat artist was in the work of the US presidential candidate, and now the “Keeper” is located in the centre of London in the famous Hyde Park.
Shaimiev as a guide
Near the pictures of the young Shaimiev couple, Mintimer Sharipovich remembered that he bought the costumes for the shooting after a Komsomol congress, and as a gift in honour of the birth of his son Ayrat. Then he told how he met Sakina khanum, coming in the Kalininsky district to write his thesis, where his future wife worked. Shaimiev's father, the chairman of the kolkhoz, was the first to notice her. When Sharip abyy advised his son to pay attention to the young woman, he decided not to tell that he had known her for two days…
Lilia Galimova insisted that Shaimiev should see her favourite photo: this is a picture with a husky named Makhmai, which the first president of Tatarstan got in 2009, a year before leaving the post of president and before becoming the state councilor of the republic.
“I said then that I wanted to have a husky. All self-respecting Siberian hunters have laikas. Each has its own character. And this was a new breed — the southwestern husky, it has the blood of a wolf. They have no sense of fear. At the same time, he gets along very well with people, loves children.”
At some point, the journalists noticed that Shaimiev, in fact, was giving them an excursion. He turned to the deputy head of the republican agency for press and mass communications of the Republic of Tatarstan Tatmedia, Eduard Khayrullin: would they recruit him to the museum as a guide? The former head of the press service of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan replied that he already makes money on excursions. “Meanwhile, you are doing it for free," the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya noted.
“Well, I haven't said that yet!” the state councilor joked.