Restoration of the Alexander Palace
Interiors to be Completed in 2017
by Paul Gilbert

The restoration of the original interiors of the Alexander Palace will be restored by 2017

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The Council for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage of St. Petersburg, under the auspices of the local government unanimously endorsed the concept of restoration of the original interiors of the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, at a meeting held on Thursday, February 3, 2011.

The project will be overseen by architect, Nikita Yavein, who reported that the main task of the restorers will be to reconstruct the former private apartments of the last Russian Imperial family from historical documents, drawings and photographs taken before the Revolution, as well as a photographic inventory of the rooms taken in 1924. Once the restoration of the palace is complete, the museum will dedicate a permanent exhibition to the everyday life of Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, and other members of the Imperial family, who resided at the Alexander Palace up until 1917.

According to Yavein, the basement of the Alexander Palace will be upgraded and used to house offices, cloakrooms, a gift and book shop, a coffee shop, security and other departments of the palace-museum. The second floor will tprovide exhibition space, a library and conference hall, while the former children's rooms will house a children's art center.

The Alexander Palace, is under the administration of the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve (GMZ).

The project was reviewed by Alexander Leontiev, chief architect of Peterhof GMZ. He praised the concept of restoration of the Alexander Palace and noted that it is "a continuation of the postwar restoration of palaces and museums of Leningrad".

Olga Taratynova, Director-General of the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve said that the total cost of restoration will cost from 800 million to 1.2 billion rubles, and restoration work itself will take from 2.5 to 3 years - "no less". "It is unlikely that the restotations will be completed before 2013, when we will mark the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. But I am optimistic that the project will be completed by 2017, as the Alexander Palace marks one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of the palace, as well as Russia. The year 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, and it is here that the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna received the news. It was also from the Alexander Palace that the last Russian emperor and his family went into exile to Tobolsk,"- said Olga Taratynova.

Taratynova also noted that to date, more than six thousand original objects from the Alexander Palace survived, most of which are in storage, or on display at Pavlovsk State Museum-Reserve. She noted that Pavlovsk have only returned a total of 27 objects to the Alexander Palace. Taratynova also said that in February this year, she will send the relevant documents to the Ministry of Culture in Moscow, who will review the requirements set out by the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve to carry out the restoration of the interiors of the Alexander Palace.

The Ministry of Defence, who had occupied much of the Alexander Palace since the 1950s, was convinced by the Ministry of Culture to hand over the palace to the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum-Reserve in 2009. In the summer of 2010, the Alexander Palace opened three grand state rooms, just in time to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoe Selo. This year, further work will continue on the bad condition of the roof, the rafters and other elements of the building.

The Alexander Palace is situated in Tsarskoe Selo and the town of Pushkin. It was built between 1792-1796 by the famous Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, by order of Empress Catherine II. She presented the palace as a wedding gift to her grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (the future Emperor Alexander I ). The palace is an elongated two-storey building with double wings on either side. In the center of the northern facade are two rows of Corinthian columns which cut across a colonnade. The focal point of the palace are the magnificent state rooms. Adjacent to the palace, is a vast park with a lake, which was used on a daily basis by the last Russian Imperial family for walks and other recreational activities.

This article was written by Paul Gilbert, based on press releases from Фонтанка.Ру, ИА REGNUM, РБК - RBC.Ru, and Interfax-Russia and other news articles from Royal Russia News.

3 February, 2011



A brief article on the State Rooms which were restored in 2010, plus 70
colour photos, a map of the location of the State Rooms, and other
news, videos & photos of the Alexander Palace restorations.