Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Early 20th century watercolour of the Sovereign's Martial Chamber at Tsarskoye Selo
On August 1st, 2014, the Museum of the Great War will open in the former Sovereign's Martial Chamber at Tsarskoye Selo. The museum's inauguration will mark the 100th anniversary of Russia's declaration of war against Imperial Germany. It will be divided into 16 sections and will be the only museum of its kind in Russia.
One section will explore the history of the museum, which was originally constructed between 1913-1917, but closed by the Bolsheviks in 1919. The museum's original collection was based on gifts from Elena Tretyakova to Emperor Nicholas II, who donated her husband's collection of graphics on the history of Russian army. The exhibition will also include the spoils of war, and a large collection of icons.
A significant part of the exhibition will be devoted to the circumstances of the Great War . It will include a copy of the telegram sent by Nicholas II to the German Emperor Wilhelm II, with a proposal to refer the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia to a court of arbitration. George Vvedenskii, Head of the Military Department of the Tsarskoye Selo State Historical Museum, said that up till now German history books hold Nicholas II responsibile for the outbreak of the First World War. However, it was Nicholas II who tried to avert the war at all costs. The tsar was an active peacemaker, the initiator of the two Hague Conferences in 1899 and 1907, whose groundwork laid the foundations for the international security system and the basis for the creation of the League of Nations at first, and later the United Nations.
Another section of the exhibition will be dedicated to the murder of Grigori Rasputin. The creators of the exhibit will focus his murder based on theory that a British agent was responsible for firing the fatal shot. Vvedenskii notes that this part of the exhibit is based on recent research on the topic.
The entire exhibition as a whole will provide the historical truth about the Great War, document by document, episode by episode. "Russia's role in the Great War is one of monstrous slander, its meaning often distorted - said Vvedenskii, - Recreating the museum tells the facts that the army won the war, and society - lost."
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 07 August, 2013