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Friday, February 23, 2018

Nikolai Makarov, the Kremlin’ve benefited from the dismantling of the 14th corps

“We found only small fragments of the buildings. We don’t even always understand their purpose, their place in the overall ensemble of the Kremlin. But it is an authentic monuments of the XV–XVI century, we must maintain and show the most important relics of our historical Russia”, – said the newspaper VIEW Director of the Institute of archaeology Nikolai Makarov, whose staff completed excavations at the site of the dismantled 14th corps of the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin on the eve ordered to create the Museum’s “window” to tourists in the Kremlin could see ancient foundations and other finds which archaeologists discovered on the site of the dismantled 14th corps of the Kremlin. In the basement of the former office building can be a full-fledged underground Museum. As the newspaper VIEW, head of state instructed to submit by December proposals for the creation of the Museum complex on the basis of the remnants of the Foundation of the temple of the Miracle of Archangel Michael in the Kremlin.

“We are talking about the preservation of buildings of white stone and brick, which are not very suitable to Museum conservation in our Northern climate

Recall, dismantling built in the years 1932-1934 corps ended in may. Before this place from the XIV century were women’s men’s Voznesensky and Chudov monasteries, and also the Small Nikolaevsky Palace (architect Matvey Kazakov). All this was demolished by the Bolsheviks in the years 1929-1930. Two years ago, when the dismantling was getting ready, Vladimir Putin proposed to restore the Chudov and Voznesensky monasteries, adding that this issue should be discussed with the architectural community and to coordinate with UNESCO.

How were the excavations of how he sees the Kremlin in the future, in an interview with the newspaper LOOK told Nikolai Makarov, Director of Institute of archaeology Academy of Sciences, where staff and conducted on-site studies of the 14th corps.

VIEW: Nikolai Andreyevich, how difficult would it be to combine the construction of the underground Museum and the restoration of the monasteries? The more that monasteries under already found a medieval monastic burial?

Nikolai Makarov: I think the ensemble of the Kremlin’ve benefited from the dismantling of the 14th corps. A very interesting view of the Cathedral square, Ivan the Great bell tower, Archangel Cathedral. A significant view of the Spassky tower and administrative buildings of the XVIII-century palaces, kazakovskaya facade. So that the very appearance of this review space is in itself a very good solution, and it might be worth to keep it.

In the future, the proposal to restore the monasteries can discuss, but for now you just have to see what happens. Now, many argue, is necessary to restore or do not, but most of them have not been in the Kremlin, they haven’t seen this Eastern part of the Kremlin in its present shape. It is necessary to go to assess. Such decisions should not be made hastily.

Nikolai Makarov (photo: Ekaterina Chesnokova/RIA Novosti)

LOOK: Already decided that the excavations will be open the exhibition of artifacts you found, covered with glass domes. But as will soon open a full-fledged underground Museum?

N. M.: Until uncovered a very small area – 600 sq. m. This is a small part of the territory that was occupied by the 14th corps. Found the remains of the Maly Nikolayevsky Palace, part of the wall of the refectory and the Church of the Annunciation and St ALEKSY Church, the remains of the St. Catherine Church, which was located at the Spassky tower. The second area where you plan to “underground unit”, is the preserved cellars, above which was a Central part of the Chudov monastery, the oldest part of it, fragments of the chapel of the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. That’s all you can really open up and show.

While we found only small fragments of the buildings. We don’t even always understand their purpose, their place in the overall ensemble. But it is an authentic monuments of the XV–XVI century, we must maintain and show the most important relics of our historical Russia. Yet, again, this is very small amounts. So do not think that we are ready to open a Museum.

You have to understand that this area suffered enormous damage during the Soviet era. The cultural layer at a depth of 3.5 meters on the most part cleared, and in some areas it is cleared and in great depth, and from parts of the buildings almost nothing was left.

While our headache is how to keep it and show. We are talking about the preservation of buildings of white stone and brick, which are not very suitable to Museum conservation in our Northern climate. Have difficult to develop technological solutions to find the right temperature and humidity regimes. In addition, we have to figure out how to make these expositions interesting people, to animate them.

Maybe use 3D, computer installation. But now we are already a bit tired from all this computer. So much it appeared in museums, it’s time to think about how not to overdo it. Sometimes lighting and interesting explanations give more than a conglomeration of computer installations.

Some parts can be seen from the top through the glass on the Ivanovo area and in a Park on the site of the 14th corps. But something will be available for viewing from the basement.

OPINION: AND whether it is necessary to recover the Small Nikolaevsky Palace? In 1818, this house settled, the future Tsar, Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich. In this house was born his son, the future Tsar Alexander II. In this Palace in September of 1826 took place the famous conversation between Nicholas I and Pushkin…

N. M: From the engineering point of view, the Palace is easier to recover. There remained a part of the Foundation, preserved the drawings. You have to understand that the Small Nikolaevsky Palace occupied a large part of the current Ivanovo area. If we restore it, a substantial part of it cease to exist as open space. The Palace was quite ugly back, covered with the buildings of the Chudov and Voznesensky monasteries. And if we don’t have monasteries? Difficult decision.

The Kremlin keeps the original monuments of Moscow Russia, Imperial Russia. In Soviet times, we have lost much. The main task of archaeologists, especially in the Kremlin – not to lose the spirit of authenticity. What is significant dismantling of the 14th corps? Very gently he was carried out. There was no invasion into the soil was not frozen historical foundations. Nothing has been lost. The main thing is not to lose. And restore? Restore if will wish.

LOOK: You already mentioned one of the most valuable finds of stone molds for casting metal goods. In this form, which is 700 years old, the inscription. Four letters are read as “REN, but inscription illegible. You praised her as the first evidence of the appearance of writing on the Kremlin hill.” If it was the name of the master, is it not possible to guess?

N. M: we Have a small series of molds on which were written the names of the masters. It can be assumed that the meaning of the mark in this case is the name, designation of ownership. But some of the letters inscribed in the mirror. We can assume that the master was involved, for example, in the manufacture of enkolpion – the so-called cross-skladen, which was applied to short inscriptions such as “Jesus Christ”. The font, the graphics are typical for the second half of the XII – first half XIII century. But, unfortunately, the word is that they don’t add up. Perhaps he was involved in the manufacture of seals.

LOOK: You found and the remains of the Cathedral of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael in which to capture Moscow by the poles in 1611, was held captive and starved to death of the Patriarch Hermogenes. It is said that when the Cathedral was destroyed in the basement were found with iron chains and several human skulls and bones. You hope to find there some artifacts of the time of Hermogenes?

N. Moscow: Central part of the Cathedral destroyed in the strongest way. No its remains we have found. Until we found the gallery, extensions, porches, which is adjacent to the Cathedral. The ability to find something that relates to the events of the XVI–XVII century, is negligible because a layer of this time is almost completely cut off, at least under the 14th corps. We explore what belongs to an earlier time is runemasters layer, a layer of the XIV century and underlying layers until the founding of Moscow. The oldest layer survived. Somewhere in the pits of medieval buildings its capacity reaches two meters. This is a rare situation when we can explore such certified thickness of the cultural layer of early Moscow.

We explore the lower part of the foundations of buildings, the monastery necropolis, the oldest cultural layer of the Eastern part of the Kremlin. If to make excavations in the area, we will study and more recent strata, but it will be a different story.

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