Changes for Moscow's
Pushkin Museum of Art

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.
Opened in May 1912, the museum was originally named after Emperor Alexander III

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The planned Pushkin Museum renovation will see it expanded to 130,000 square meters, and new space will be built underground, head of Mosproekt-5 institute, Sergei Tkachenko, was quoted as saying by Interfax on Friday.

The museum’s new face

“The concept for the Pushkin Museum’s reconstruction and development has been in development for several years. In the end we chose Norman Foster’s concept,” he said.

The project has the old building in the center of the new architectural composition, and uses underground space located towards Ulitsa Volkhonka.

The project also includes premises to be located between the museum and Philosophy Institute. “We plan to construct a big exhibition center on the territory where there is currently a petrol station now. If the exhibition center is built here, then it will allow us to avoid queues to the museum,” Tkachenko said.

The Federal Protection Service, the owner of the gas station, has said it is ready to relocate it.

Tkachenko also said that they were looking at using the neighboring buildings if they were made the museum’s property.

The reconstruction is to be carried out by SU-133, which won the tender.

The museum’s development and reconstruction would help it exhibit many items that are currently in storage. “At the moment only 30 percent of the museum property is on show,” Tkachenko said.

Emperor Nicholas II and his family attended the grand opening of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow on May 31, 1912.

Changes all around

After the reconstruction, the museum will occupy 120,000-130,000 square meters, and the works will cost 23 billion rubles. The first part should be ready by 2018. At the moment, the government has announced a tender for the second part of the project.

The museum will have 15 buildings, two of them built from scratch.

The collections will also be moved around. The Gallery of European and American art will become a gallery of 19th-century art, the Prince Golitsyn mansion will be used for the Gallery of 20th and 21st century art, the old masters collection will be moved to the empty Vyazemsky-Dolgoruky mansion.

Instead of the department of art and archaeology of antiquity in the right wind of the Golitsyn mansion, there will be a guest courtyard, and Stulov house administrative building will house a library.

Storage and restoration rooms will be moved out of the main building.

It was earlier reported that Moscow authorities plan to create depositories for the museum in the Konkovo area industrial zone in the southwest of the city. Other reports suggested the depositories would be kept in the museum, or moved o Skolkovo. No decision has been made yet.

However, museum employees think it impossible to store items far from the main building, as it would create problems for transporting and restoring the items.

Moscow should not suffer

The Arkhnadzor heritage protection society is hoping that the construction will be conducted using an enclosed system, not requiring any disruption to above ground structures. “We were promised that the underground construction will be enclosed, but we have not seen any documents yet,” coordinator Rustam Akhmatullin said. He added that this way the trees would be preserved and there would be no extra pressure on the traffic.

Source & Copyright: The Moscow News
30 March, 2012