Restoration of heritage sites in 2019

Restoration of heritage sites in 2019
Photo: Press Service of Moscow Mayor and the Moscow Government
Specialists have upgraded Grotto pavilion in Kuskovo Estate, Donskoy Monastery towers, Yuri Dolgoruky monument on Tverskaya Square and other architectural heritage sites.

Moscow restorers have summed up the results of 2019. Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department, told about the major accomplishments and plans for 2020.

‘At the end of the year, we traditionally sum up the results and tell what we have managed to do over the past 12 months. Although we always put quality over quantity when it comes to restoration, we should first start with the key figures. This year, 203 architectural monuments have been restored, with more than half of them restored thanks to private investment. Accordingly, a total of 1,414 cultural heritage sites have been renovated since 2011. Now the share of monuments in good and satisfactory condition is already 94 per cent,' he said.

So, since 2010, the number of dilapidated Moscow heritage sites has decreased by 5.3 times.

Saved history: the Grotto pavilion and the Donskoy Monastery towers

The list of the most significant sites experts worked with in 2019 includes the following buildings:

— Miusskoye tram depot ensemble (20 Lesnaya Street, buildings 1, 3, 4, 5, 6);

— Shchukin Theatre Institute (12A/1 Bolshoi Nikolopeskovsky Pereulok);

— Lodyzhensky—Zagryazhsky—Rukavishnikov city estate of the 18th-19th centuries (3/1 Denezhny Pereulok);

— Baskakov's revenue house of 1913-1914, where the scientist and psychiatrist, Professor of the Moscow University Pyotr Gannushkin lived and worked in 1919-1933 (19 Khlebny Pereulok);

— Stone Flower and Friendship of Peoples fountains at VDNKh;

— the Donskoy Monastery towers (1 Donskaya Street);

— weaving building of the Alexeyev Gold-Weaving Factory of the 18th–19th centuries (40/1 Volochayevskaya Street);

— Mindovsky's Mansion built in 1903 by architect Lev Kekushev (44/2 Povarskaya Street, buildings 1 and 2).

Restoration of the Grotto pavilion in the Kuskovo Estate was a breakthrough of the year. This is the only building of the 18th century in Russia with an extant decorative finish of clam shells supplied from the Mediterranean and Black seas, the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and real mother-of-pearl. Specialists have worked in the pavilion for three years to restore the facing of sculptures and fragments of panels and interiors using about 90,000 shells. They have also renovated white-stone elements, brickwork, plaster moulding and metal finishing, reinforced the walls and the foundation of the building. Besides, experts restored marbling on the pavilion vaults, walls and columns, and fixed the plaster layer.

The mansion of the Siberian gold miner Ivan Nekrasov built by the architect Roman Klein in Khlebny Pereulok and today housing the residence of the Ambassador of Chile was another outstanding heritage site restored. Restorers have renovated brick facades and the original fencing.

Big work continued in Donskoy Monastery, too. Late in May, the restoration of the 4th and 5th towers was completed, with facades and interiors restored, wooden elements of doors and windows mounted, made according to the prototypes of the 17th century. The work on the 11th and 12th towers is nearly over. Besides, 23 tombstones of the monastery necropolis regained their historical appearance. In 2020, 74 more tombstones, a bathhouse building (18th century) and the Seminary at the Western Gate will be renovated.

Restoration of religious heritage sites

Work on religious monuments has been done, too (26 sites in total): restoration of 11 sites was conducted within the 'Culture of Moscow' programme. 15 sites have been restored under the Moscow subsidy programme.

The buildings that have been restored in 2019 as part of the Moscow subsidy programme:

— Trinity Church in Ostankino Estate (7/2 1st Ostankinskaya Street);

— Church in the Tsaritsyno Estate (2/1 Dolskaya Street);

— Anna Kazanskaya Church in Kolomenskoye Museum Estate (39/9 Andropova Prospekt).

Comprehensive restoration under '1 Rouble per 1 Sq M' programme

2012 through 2019, 27 buildings have been included in the '1 Rouble per 1 Sq M' programme. 19 of them have been completely restored. This year, work has been completed on four of them.

Also, as part of the programme, comprehensive restoration of Andrei Sytin's Estate was completed in the late summer. Moscow classicism style house was built before the fire of 1812. In the 1990–2010s, the vacant building was in poor condition. Restoration of the chief estate's building started in December 2016 to last for more than two and a half years. Specialists have completely restored back the building's original look.

Restoration of another eight sites is underway:

— 47 Nikoloyamskaya Street;

— 36/2 Prechistenka Street;

— 16 Devyatoy Roty Street;

— 19/4 Gorokhovsky Pereulok;

— 10/3 Kazarmenny Pereulok;

— 4/3 Andronyevskaya Square;

— 10/1 Kropotkinsky Pereulok;

— 19A/2 Vorontsovskaya Street.

Besides, the restoration of the monumental sculpture sites was completed in 2019. Specialists have renovated the monument to Nikolai Gogol on Nikitsky Boulevard, the monument to Alexander Fadeyev on Miusskaya Square, and the monument to Yuri Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Square.

Restoration and education

Another Moscow Cultural Heritage Department's priority is the promotion of heritage site preservation. Throughout the year, there were themed tours, quests, intellectual games, lectures and meetings with experts held in Moscow for everyone. Cultural Heritage Department published unique archival footage of old Moscow and ran drawing games with books as prizes on its social media sites.

Another Moscow Cultural Heritage Department's priority is the promotion of heritage site preservation. Throughout the year, there were themed tours, quests, intellectual games, lectures and meetings with experts held in Moscow for everyone. Cultural Heritage Department published unique archival footage of old Moscow and ran drawing games with books as prizes on its social media sites.

In April and May, Moscow hosted Historical and Cultural Heritage Days featuring over 500 tours, with 352 sites listed as participants. Besides, for the first time within Historical and Cultural Heritage Days, a children's drawing contest 'Heritage of My District' took place. Art school students showed some 500 works depicting Moscow sites they find most valuable.

Late in August, the traditional meeting of the International Expert Council on the cultural heritage preservation was held, attended by over 20 foreign experts from the United Kingdom, Albania, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, UNESCO and ICOMOS representatives, as well as the leading Russian experts of state and specialised culture and cultural heritage institutions.

In September, Discover Moscow portal launched a special project for photographers. Veksler seminar on the cultural heritage preservation took place for the fourth time.

In November, Russian and foreign restorers met in Gostiny Dvor at the 5th International Specialised Exhibition 'Denkmal, Russia — Moscow'. At the end of month, the second Moscow Heritage Youth Forum was held. Student teams were offered to develop a design for Pravda newspaper concern's restoration and inclusion in the city space located at 24 Pravdy Street. Since last year, the number of contestants and attendees has tripled.

At the end of the year, Sergei Sobyanin awarded the best restoration projects during the ‘Moscow Restoration 2019’ competition. 96 applications were submitted for the award. 32 specialists and organisations that took part in the restoration of 20 cultural heritage sites became awardees. In the nine years, over 640 companies and design companies, chief design architects and restorers, participants and organisers of restoration competed. Over 360 of them received the title of awardees.

Prevention of violations

In 2019, within the cultural heritage protection efforts, the Cultural Heritage Department

— visited sites 1,805 times;

— issued 978 orders (work permits, technical condition certificates, work suspension certificates);

— conducted 283 checks (54 scheduled and 229 unscheduled ones)

— initiated 376 administrative proceedings, including 99 investigations;

— imposed fines totalling over RUB 24 million (with 2018, it is about RUB 26 million).

In total, 585 assignments for the design documentation's development and 420 work permits have been issued in 2019. In 2020, work will continue and be completed at the Northern River Station, in Polytechnic Institute, Khudozhestvenny Cinema and Medvednikov Gymnasium in Starokonyushenny Pereulok. Specialists will also restore back the appearance of the revenue house with a printshop in Devyatoy Roty Street, the Central Pavilion and the Radioelectronics Pavilion at VDNKh. Besides, work on the Udarnik Cinema and the post office building in Myasnitskaya Street is to launch.