Two news stirred up the calm vacation. One came from Chersonesos, which was appointed director of the National Reserve chaplain, rector of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral. The museum staff has supported the director, recalling in particular, that it is thanks to the leadership of the reserve was restored St. Vladimir’s Cathedral. Another – from St. Petersburg, where the fate of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The situation is commented Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Hermitage director, chairman of the Union of Museums of Russia.
Mikhail Borisovich, the State Hermitage archaeological expeditions working in Crimea, in particular in Hersonissos, many years. Therefore, you probably are not indifferent to the news of the change of director of the largest national reserve “Chersonesos”?
Mikhail Piotrovsky : Expeditions Hermitage work in Hersonissos, exactly half a century. And never any conflict between the church and the museum, archaeologists were not here. It is a unique archaeological site, which is still in the excavation of 1827 was named Russian Pompeii. Nicholas I, appreciating the value of historical finds, even translated part of the monastery’s land, where the ancient city was discovered in the possession of the state, to provide a scientific study of the ancient monument. Since the target system in which the interests of secular scholars, museum professionals and the church coexisted peacefully.
I want to emphasize that this is not just a museum, but a strong scientific center of the world level, which accumulates efforts of scientists different countries, studying ancient Greek culture and the Christian. And museum, and scientific and archaeological work, of course, much broader activities of the church. At the same time, of course, always open here Cathedral, pilgrims come, but the monument itself has always guarded the museum.
This is not the first story related to “Chersonese”?
Mikhail Piotrovsky: A year ago, Russian President instructed the Ministry of Culture to reserve “Chersonese” moved to federal jurisdiction. During this period, while the documents were still not decorated, the administration of Sevastopol took a different position. And beginning with the fact that three months ago reserve “Chersonese” wanted to combine with several other museums. From the Museum of defense of Sevastopol, Historical Boulevard, War Memorial cemetery … The idea was to create an urban museum reserve, which consists of different objects.
“Why create new tensions, where they did not exist? Who needs to provoke conflicts ? “
Mikhail Piotrovsky: At the very least that the National Park has ceased to be a legal person. And for the monument, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is nonsense. Then the Union of Museums of Russia was able to defend “Chersonesos”. And then he was appointed the new director from among the staff of the museum – Andrei Kulagin. He is an archaeologist involved in underwater archaeological research. He knows the museum work. As a leader, quite successfully started to work.
He was appointed by the Ministry of Culture?
Mikhail Piotrovsky: No. Since the museum has had federal status, the director appointed governor of Sevastopol.
Three months later he canceled his appointment as director and set rector of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral, which is located on the reserve?
Mikhail Piotrovsky: Yes. This unexpected assignment.
Well, but the director of the Solovki historical-architectural and natural museum-reserve was appointed governor of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery Archimandrite Porfiry (Shutov Vladimir). Solovki is possible and impossible in Hersonissos? Solovetsky Reserve also since 1992 included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
Mikhail Piotrovsky: Solovki historical primarily convent and a prison, later – the Solovki prison camp – elephants. In the background is completely different Hersonissos. To supervise the scientific work of the largest museum center can only be a specialist. In general, the confidence that the science of management – is simple enough, the myth of the Bolshevik times.
But the conflict between the church and sanctuary in Chersonesos was not?
Mikhail Piotrovsky: Never. This question – why create new hotbeds of tension where there were none? Who needs to provoke conflicts? There are a lot of problems in Ryazan, in museums of Vladimir and Suzdal, where there are disputes on the transfer of churches and museums with the museums remain the premises.
Museums are completely exposed in the new situation. We need a legal framework that would guarantee the preservation of the museum’s heritage. In the present situation there is a collision of interests of museums and the interests of the church. But even in the current difficult situation, we have the experience of a fruitful dialogue museums and the Orthodox Church. On the pages of “RG” we had a dialogue with the abbot of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. You can search for points of agreement, not contention. And we are, art dealers, they are looking for. We looked at the situation and “Chersonese” and the museum complex “St. Isaac’s Cathedral” as a fruitful experience of the consent and cooperation of the museum with the church. To rely on them as a model. And now, instead of agreement – another conflict.
If we talk about St. Isaac’s Cathedral, then there are constantly held worship …
Mikhail Piotrovsky: Let’s start with the fact that the Church of St. Isaac’s Cathedral is directly never belonged. He, like the Hermitage, was subordinated to the Ministry of the Imperial Court. Furthermore, there really are services not only on major religious holidays, but in the chapel of Alexander Nevsky service are daily. But as far as I know, the congregation – one percent of the total number of visitors.
If Isaac’s Cathedral turn to the temple, its revenue will be church?
Mikhail Piotrovsky: In theory, yes, it is. But note, revenues of the museum complex “St. Isaac’s Cathedral” are on their restoration of the cathedral. Their four. Actually, Isaac’s, Church of the Savior on Blood, Smolny Cathedral and Sampson. Even if we consider that the issue of the transfer of the Church of the Smolny Cathedral resolved as likely, and Sampson, the restoration of St. Isaac’s Cathedral – a very expensive business. Therefore, almost all the income goes to the restoration. Unless, of course, to think seriously about the preservation of the monument.
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