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Traitement du patrimoine

Beyond Preservation: Post-Soviet Reconstructions of the Strelna and Tsaritsyno Palace-Parks

Par-delà la conservation : les reconstructions postsoviétiques de Strelna et de Tsaritsyno
Julie Buckler
p. 41-59

Résumés

Cet article s’intéresse au cas de deux palais impériaux russes et à leurs jardins: Strelna à Petersburg et Tsaritsyno à Moscou, deux sites de l’héritage impérial sauvés au XXIe s. Les deux palais ont subi une reconstruction majeure et hautement controversée ; ils affirment désormais que la Russie postsoviétique est l’héritière de la culture impériale russe. Les deux projets ont cristallisé le débat actuel à propos de la politique culturelle concernant l’héritage impérial et sa préservation dans les deux villes. Durant les premières années de l’après-soviétisme, les ruines des deux palais suggéraient une fascinante histoire alternative. Au tournant du siècle, alors que Putin commençait son premier mandat de président russe et que Lužkov envisageait une seconde décennie à la tête de la mairie de Moscou, Strel′na et Tsaritsyno offrirent tous les deux l’occasion idéale de prendre une nouvelle direction dans l’appropriation de cet héritage culturel : récupérer le passé impérial en lui donnant d’accomplir enfin sa promesse, reconstruire de façon créative. Ces reconstructions sont à comparer avec ces lieux de mémoire que sont les grands palais impériaux russes des environs de SaintPétersbourg (Tsarskoe Selo, Peterhof, etc.). Comment et pourquoi les versions postsoviétiques de Strel′na et Tsaritsyno affirment-elles leur propre statut de lieux de mémoire ?

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  • 1 Strong expressions of this view can be found in Kevin Lynch, What time is this place?, Cambridge, M (...)
  • 2 For studies of cultural heritage objects and their contemporary predicaments, see David Lowenthal, (...)
  • 3 David Lowenthal, The heritage crusade and the spoils of history, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge Universit (...)

1Cultural memory turns the past to present purposes, and cultural properties – those physical remains of the past recast as “tangible cultural heritage” – must serve the needs of their changing contemporary circumstances if they are to survive.1 Repurposing physical heritage structures such as historical buildings and monuments proposes a usable past to the public mind, but rarely without controversy.2 Such adaptive re-use projects also foster accompanying forms of cultural production – narratives, representations, practices, and identities that engage the idea of “heritage” as they reconceive it. In David Lowenthal’s blunt formulation, heritage “mandates misreadings of the past.”3

  • 4 For investigation into the current fate of cultural heritage monuments in Russia’s two most importa (...)

2This essay tells the story of two Russian imperial palace-parks – Petersburg’s Strelna and Moscow’s Tsaritsyno, both federally protected imperial heritage sites reclaimed from physical ruin in twenty-first century post-Soviet Russia. Both palace-parks were subjected to major, highly controversial reconstruction, and in their new incarnations now assert post-Soviet Russia’s status as the inheritor-heir of imperial Russian cultural property. Both projects also bring into sharp relief the terms of contemporary debate and cultural politics surrounding heritage and preservation in the two cities.4

  • 5 This suggestion of alternative histories is one of the primary functions of ruins, as described in (...)

3Neither Strelna nor Tsaritsyno had ever attained their originally conceived purposes as major imperial palace-complexes. Both projects were initially embraced by a powerful Russian ruler – Peter the Great (Strelna) and Catherine II (Tsaritsyno) – who then lost interest, turning royal attentions to other projects. Neither Strelna nor Tsaritsyno had been of particular importance during the imperial period – Strelna was a residence for Romanov Grand Dukes and the Tsaritsyno parklands were a popular “romantic” strolling grounds. Neither place had been effectively exploited as a cultural memory site or cultural resource during the Soviet period. During the early post-Soviet years, the Strelna and Tsaritsyno palaces lay in ruins as “could-have-beens,” intriguingly suggestive of alternative histories.5

  • 6 Luzhkov’s most famous Moscow project was the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior i (...)
  • 7 For background on the culturally constituted relationship between the two cities, see K. G. Isupov (...)

4At the turn of the twenty-first century, as Vladimir Putin began his first term as Russian President and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov contemplated a second decade in office, Strelna and Tsaritsyno both offered ideal opportunities for the post-Soviet repurposing of cultural heritage – reclaiming the imperial past by fulfilling its unrealized promise, and reconstructing heritage with a creative hand.6 In so doing, post-Soviet Moscow and St. Petersburg might also alleviate their respective sense of historical wrongs, both symbolically and specifically – the abandonment of Moscow as the imperial capital by Peter the Great in 1713 and the dethroning of St. Petersburg by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Moscow would construct its own imperial palace-park to rival those in Petersburg, and Petersburg would share Moscow’s status as the symbolic center of state power.7

5By 2007, Strelna and Tsaritsyno had become the most expensive showpiece restoration projects undertaken in their respective cities. The completed restorations were marked by major post-Soviet jubilee celebrations – the St. Petersburg 2003 tri-centennial for Strelna and the 860th city anniversary of Moscow in 2007 for Tsaritsyno. Strelna is now the presidential “Palace of Congresses,” most recently the site of the September 2013 international “G20 Summit.” Tsaritsyno is a popular imperial-themed recreational museum-park.

  • 8 Pierre Nora, “Between memory and history: les lieux de mémoire,” Representations, no. 26, Spring 19 (...)
  • 9 Id., “Preface”, in Realms of memory: the construction of the French past, New York, Columbia Univer (...)

6In Pierre Nora’s famous characterization, a lieu de mémoire is a cultural site, physical or symbolic, where collective memory “crystallizes and secretes itself.”8 For Nora, lieux de mémoire are dynamic entities, constructed and reconstructed across history in response to new circumstances. In writing their histories, he declared himself “less interested in ‘what actually happened’ than in its perpetual re-use and misuse, its influence on successive presents; less interested in traditions than in the way in which traditions are constituted and passed on.” Nora’s memory sites thus figure “neither a resurrection nor a reconstitution nor a reconstruction nor even a representation but, in the strongest possible sense, a ‘rememoration’.”9 While “remembering” strives to resurrect an imagined past, “rememoration” narrates the cyclical histories of forgetting and reclaiming that shape collective memory sites.

  • 10 Georges Nivat offers a substantive first installment of a larger collaborative project that uses No (...)
  • 11 Georges Nivat, “Mémoire russe, oubli russe,” his introduction to les Sites de la mémoire russe, p. (...)

7The influential concept of lieux de mémoire from modern French cultural history is not a bad fit for post-imperial Russia, since French lieux arose from the need to retool ancien régime sites and signs following the French Revolution, just as the Bolsheviks had to find ways to re-use the vast cultural properties of tsarist Russia they had inherited after 1917.10 Nora’s massive history-of-memory project countered France’s uncertain sense of itself as a modern state during the 1980s-90s Mitterrand period, a time perhaps loosely analogous to post-Soviet Russia’s search for cultural continuities during a time of political transition. For Georges Nivat, the discontinuities in Russia’s history have made the collective cultural memory under study all the more fragile and thus essential to articulate. In Nivat’s view, post-Soviet Russia has suffered from “hypermnesia,” caused by a confusing array of often contradictory historical narratives that then call forth a firm official settling of debates.11

  • 12 A. V. Lunačarskij, “Почему мы охраняем дворцы романовых (путевые впечатления),” Об изобразительном (...)
  • 13 See A. A. Kedrinskij and I. A. Bartenev, Летопись возрождения. восстановление памятников архитектур (...)
  • 14 The exact boundaries of the environs for each palace-park are not clear, however, and these pleasan (...)

8The major Russian imperial palace-parks are “classic” examples of Russian lieux de mémoire, vested with enormous symbolic capital today, having triumphed over the vicissitudes of history, akin in this respect to Versailles or the Louvre. Beginning in the time of Peter the Great, the Petersburg palace-parks – including Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, and Gatchina – were summer residences for the tsars, as well as showy platforms for impressing foreign dignitaries and the Russian people. The palaces were filled with rich furnishings and art treasures, and their landscaped grounds were dotted by monuments and architecturally diverse auxiliary buildings. In 1917, the St. Petersburg tsarist palace-parks were symbols of a monarchy that had fallen out of touch with the times, and after 1918, they were museums with somewhat uncertain status whose collections were nationalized by the Soviet government.12 In 1941, the palace-parks were threatened by the invading Germans and heroic efforts were made to rescue their contents before they were occupied and largely ruined. In the wake of the war, the Petersburg palace-parks were precious repositories of Russian cultural heritage that merited all possible resources for their careful restoration.13 During the late Soviet period, the palace-parks were beloved cultural sites, a favorite destination for Russian families and foreign tourist groups. In 1990, UNESCO added to its World Heritage list the St. Petersburg historical center and surrounding environs, a protective move intended to assure the safety of these major cultural heritage sites during a time of political transition in Russia.14 In 2008, Peterhof was named one of the “Seven Wonders of Russia.” Tsarskoe Selo celebrated its tri-centennial with great pomp in 2010, as did Oranienbaum to a lesser degree in 2011.

  • 15 For an overview of specialists’ standards, see Проблемы воссоздания утраченных памятников архитекту (...)

9Despite the untouchable status of the main palace-parks in Petersburg and the federally protected status of both Strelna and Tsaritsyno heritage sites, however, these latter two reconstruction projects took what specialists considered unforgivable liberties, overwriting historical design, adding completely new structures to the grounds, and blurring the boundaries between copies and authentic artifacts, reproductions and inventions.15 Nevertheless, as I hope to show, the controversial reconstructions of Strelna and Tsaritsyno, although they differ in many ways from the professional restoration treatment given to the established Petersburg palace-parks, nevertheless enact contemporary versions of “rememoration” as Russian lieux de mémoire in the active process of cultural movement. This essay is based on my own visits to both Strelna and Tsaritsyno, as well as on scholarly literature and journalism.

  • 16 http://www.icomos.org/fr/docs/venice_charter.html

10As a point of departure for the controversies, the 1964 Venice Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites provides an international framework for the preservation and restoration of historic buildings. Restoration is serious business that entails returning buildings16 or monuments to their original appearance, using materials and technologies as close as possible to the original, striving to “preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument,” the whole supervised by public authorities for the preservation of cultural heritage. Reconstruction, in contrast, is a slippery concept, referring to the fundamental rebuilding of a structure based on its remains, without absolute recourse to the strict requirements regarding materials and technology that govern restoration. Specialists see reconstruction as closer in spirit to restoration, whereas non-specialists are more likely test the limits on use of new materials and changes to the historical structure, especially those not visible from the façade.

11In Russian, the terms restavratsija and rekonstrukcija correspond closely to their English counterparts, and these terms were in use during the late Soviet period when restoration work was considered a science. Descriptions of the postSoviet Strelna and Tsaritsyno projects do use the terms restoration and reconstruction, but just as often choose non-scientific terms with ideologically-charged overlapping valences – words like vossozdanie (re-creation), vosstananovlenie (rebuilding, renovation), vozroždenie (rebirth, renaissance, regeneration), and vozobnovlenie (renewal, revival). These terms obscure the hard questions that preservation specialists pose, while presenting the projects to the public in strongly positive terms. And yet, the multivalent vocabulary used to characterize their reconstructions does correspond to the terms of Nora’s lieux de mémoire discourse, and the Strelna and Tsaritsyno reconstructions do warrant some comparison to the vigorous repurposing of royal remains in Republican France. This is why today’s Strelna and Tsaritsyno, in addition to reviving traditions from the past, actively assert and celebrate themselves by choreographing tours, mounting museum exhibitions, holding conferences, and publishing guidebooks and scholarly works about themselves.

12At both Strelna and Tsaritsyno, imperial palace-parks were “restored” to post-Soviet Russia, conferring cultural authority by positing as heritage that which “should have been.” In this sense, Strelna and Tsaritsyno are “reconstructions” – of cultural heritage itself – and in this, they perform the primary modern cultural function of memory lieux.

Strelna: Seat of State Power and Imperial Showcase

13Visible from the Peterhof road from behind its guarded gates, the pale-yellow Italian Baroque-style Konstantinovsky palace anchors the grounds of the Strelna complex, an area of more than five hundred acres and one of only three major French-formal landscape parks in Russia. The Strelna website trumpets the significance of the palace reconstruction project, completed in 2003: “Konstantinovsky Palace is not just the architectural dominant of Strelna, it is the new symbol of St. Petersburg. In the twentieth century, Peter the Great’s idea of creating a ‘Russian Versailles’ as a diplomatic ‘window to Europe’ has come to full fruition. ”17 And indeed, the triple arcade of the Konstantinovsky Palace, as seen from the parade ground in front of the palace, frames the Finnish Gulf, in a literal rendering of the famous “window to Europe” metaphor from Alexander Pushkin’s narrative poem, ‘“The Bronze Horseman.” The poem’s opening is set at the turn of the eighteenth century, when Peter contemplated his grand project of founding a new Russian capital.18 Casting Konstantinovsky Palace as the new symbol of Petersburg rewrites Peter the Great’s legacy, however, since Peter abandoned the Strelna construction project in the early 1720s, after discovering the superior topographical situation of nearby Peterhof for his planned system of elaborate fountains. (fig. 1)

1. Strelna as Window to Europe

1. Strelna as Window to Europe

© Julie Buckler

  • 19 M. V. Nikolaeva, “Скульптура в ансамбле государственного комплекса ‘Дворец конгрессов’, ” in Конста (...)

14The new Strelna is at great pains to emphasize its direct link with Peter the Great, in ways that sometimes seem inadvertently ironic. A conventional equestrian monument to Peter, installed in 2003, stands prominently in front of the palace. This particular monument is neither a valuable period original nor a vibrantly conceived contemporary monument, however. It is a copy of an undistinguished Peter monument installed in Riga in 1911 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lifland’s incorporation into the Russian empire, an event not very warmly celebrated there in 1711, 1911, and not regarded with any great enthusiasm in 2003.19 On the other hand, in 2004, the whimsical sculptural composition “Tsar Strolling” was installed in the Strelna park, close to the water –the work of Mikhail Shemyakin, creator of the irreverent 1991 seated Peter sculpture at the Peter-Paul fortress. Standing together to welcome guests arriving at Strelna by boat and looking outward to the Gulf, stylized figures of Peter and his wife Catherine hold hands, accompanied by two borzois and a dwarf. The co-presence of these two very different Peter sculptures creates an uncertainty of tone; unreflective conventionality clashes with updated contemporary characterization.

15The new official mythology of Strelna makes this palace-park central in a way that was never historically the case. “The restoration of the Strelna palacepark ensemble has become one of the symbols of great Russia’s rebirth and its national cultural heritage,” the website declares. In fact, the new “Palace of Congresses” somewhat awkwardly combines the functions of state facility, historical-cultural preserve, and high-level venue for businesses and cultural groups. Strelna is not a museum, although it does have an art collection, some of it permanently displayed, and features diverse small temporary exhibitions in its auxiliary buildings. Strelna resembles the more traditional Petersburg palace-parks in the décor of its grand halls, but in contrast to Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo, public access to Strelna is unpredictable, the level of state security is marked, and visitors are not allowed to wander freely through the grounds. (fig. 2)

2. Security at Strelna

2. Security at Strelna

© Julie Buckler.

  • 20 For a description of life at Strelna during this period, see V. V. Gerasimov, Большой дворец в Стре (...)

16The second half of the nineteenth century was Strelna’s heyday, when Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevič and his large family lived there, and the palace was renamed “Konstantinovsky.”20 Konstantin Nikolaevič was an active official personage – Admiral-General of the Russian Navy, chairman of the Russian Geographic Committee, and president of the Russian Musical Society. The maritime affinity between these two former masters of the palace-park undergirds the mythology of the new Strelna complex. Alongside Strelna’s association with Peter the Great, the Konstantinovsky Palace is thus touted as “a reborn monument of Russian nineteenth-century architecture, a former residence of the Great Princes of the Romanov House.” Invoking the Konstantinoviči creates a direct link between the contemporary Russian Federation and several symbolically weighted imperial military and cultural institutions, repairing the ruptures created by the Soviet period.

17In 1911, the Strelna palace passed from Konstantin Nikolaevič’s widow to his son Dmitri, who lived there until his 1918 arrest and 1919 execution at the Peter-Paul Fortress. After the Bolshevik revolution, Konstantinovsky palace’s contents – the paintings, furnishings, precious objects, and books – were emptied out and dispersed. Some items were absorbed by museums, others were offered at auctions in Europe by the Soviet government, some things simply disappeared.

  • 21 For a description of Strelna during this transitional period of Soviet repurposing, see V. Ia. Kurb (...)

18Strelna deteriorated rapidly during the 1920s when the palace served as a facility for homeless children.21 In this, Strelna’s fate paralleled that of the palaces and mansions within Leningrad city territory that housed local political organs, trade unions, retirement homes, and pioneer clubs. During the late 1930s, the Konstantinovsky palace was prepared for conversion to a neurological sanatorium, but in 1941, the invading Germans occupied Strelna. The extensively damaged palace-park was liberated in 1944, and the palace was partially reconstructed to house the Leningrad Arctic Institute. After the Institute’s liquidation in 1991, Strelna was leased to the investment company “ROLS” while potential investors for renovation were sought. Strelna stood ruined and deserted throughout the 1990s, a poignant place for a post-Soviet stroll.

  • 22 See, for example, “Политика и экономика. имперские сны Санкт-Петербурга,” Московский комсомолец, Ma (...)
  • 23 Elena Mazneva and Maria Cvetkova, “Нефтяной дворец,” Ведомости, no. 182, September 28, 2010. See al (...)
  • 24 See, for example, “Привелегии. Пожить по-царски”, Московские новости, October 3, 2000 and “Дворцова (...)
  • 25 A “presidential” residence must be able to serve as the locus for the commander in chief of the arm (...)
  • 26 “Помоги реставраторам,” Санкт-Петербургские ведомости, February 6, 2002.
  • 27 Viktor Kostjukovskij, “Благотворительная стройка под Питером,” Новые известия, March 20, 2002.

19In 2000, the possibility was raised that a reconstructed Strelna could become a maritime “presidential residence” and museum. The Strelna project seemed a hopeful sign in light of the major restoration work needed for Petersburg’s historic center, and was welcomed by the press and public.22 With private companies and citizens donating funds and allegedly little or no state money involved, the project eventually cost in excess of three hundred fifty million dollars.23 The extensive restoration project – dubbed “Putinhoff” by the press – spurred a great deal of agitated discussion.24 It was eventually settled that Strelna would be a “state residence-museum” (gosrezidentsija) rather than a higher-status “presidential residence. ”25 In its new incarnation as the “Palace of Congresses,” Strelna would host “scientific, cultural, and civic-political functions at the state and international level,” and be open to the public at other times.26 But one journalist mused, “Such is the gift that the president confers upon his native city [for the 300th anniversary of its founding]... Or is the gift actually for the president himself?”27 Spokespeople for the Konstantinovsky project were at pains to emphasize that the president would not live in the main palace, despite the symbolic formal presidential apartments that would be constructed upstairs.

  • 28 The literature on St. Petersburg at this hopeful moment includes the Petersburg chapter in Svetlana (...)
  • 29 See Стрельна и Петергоф, p. 123-135, for guidebook description of a visit to Strelna today. For spe (...)

20Six thousand workers in round-the-clock shifts completed the Strelna restoration in time for St. Petersburg’s tri-centennial celebration in spring 2003.28 Some of the facades and interiors of the palace from the Konstantinoviči period were reconstructed from original plans by the nineteenth-century architect Andrei Štakenshnejder, with the Hermitage Museum overseeing the interior decoration of the reception rooms. The recreated Marble and Blue grand reception rooms were intended for primary large-scale summit meetings. Builders followed Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond’s original Petrine-era designs to embellish the park with pavilions, bridges, and canal-ways that had previously existed only on paper. The Strelna restoration thus combined park elements from the early eighteenth century of Peter the Great with interior restorations from the nineteenth-century “Konstantinovsky” period.29 Other aspects of the “restoration” were more questionable. A fantasy ship’s-cabin Belvedere Room in dark wood was created for intimate high-level diplomatic armchair conversations. The “Consular Village,” a grouping of twenty VIP-class cottages arranged to resemble a map of Russia in miniature, each cottage bearing the name of a Russian town, adapted a device used on the topography at Versailles. The new five-star Hotel Baltic Star offered state-of-the-art conference facilities, a fitness center, and the restaurants Russian Versailles and Northern Venice. The extensive wine cellar that had existed at Strelna in the eighteenth century was recreated. A Pavilion of Negotiations was constructed on the site of the Temple of Water designed by Le Blond. The former imperial stables were designated for the administrative offices of the “Palace of Congresses,” and the former imperial Yacht Club became the new Press Center.

  • 30 See Aleksej Erofeev, “Стрельнинское чудо,” Парламентская газета, no. 36, May 29, 2009. See also Кон (...)
  • 31 Strelna has created an entire scholarly apparatus to study and celebrate itself. Strelna hosts an a (...)

21In 2008, for the five-year anniversary of the Strelna restoration, businessman Ališer Usmanov purchased the large and diverse Rostropovich-Višnevskaja collection of Russian art from Sotheby’s for a fabulous sum and had it installed in the Konstantinovsky palace museum on indefinite loan. Including works by Antropov, Borovikovskij, Venecianov, Repin, Serov, Aivazovskij, Levitan, Korovin, Grabar′, Bakst, Roerix, Sudejkin, Gončarova, and Nesterov, the collection has been termed a “smaller Russian Museum.”30 The symbolically weighted “return” of material artifacts to Strelna and its prestigious art collection adds to the presidential luster at the Palace of Congresses. Strelna exists within a network of powerful cultural institutions that includes the Hermitage, which took a direct hand in Strelna’s rebirth, lending its credentials to the restoration project. Strelna is also under direct supervision of nearby Peterhof as part of the network of Petersburg palace-park museums. Strelna hosts lecture series for the public and is developing its profile as a scholarly conference venue for museum specialists and other culture workers.31

22Strelna also functions as a historical-cultural center, engaged in resurrecting many imperial traditions. Strelna’s musical concerts are dedicated to the rebirth of the Russian Musical Society, an organization important to the Konstantinoviči. On May 29, 2010 the “War and Peace” ball, held since 1988 in London, took place at Strelna, two hundred years after Natasha Rostova’s first ball in St. Petersburg.32 Members of today’s titled aristocracy, both Russian and European, were in attendance, and invitations were made to the heir to the Russian throne, his Imperial Highness Tsesarevič-Heir and Grand Prince Georgy Mixailovič Romanov. The Palace holds a formal annual reception for the graduates of Russian Federation military schools, at which young lieutenants receive the gold “Konstantinovsky” medal. And each Victory Day (May 9), the cadet corps joined by WWII veterans demonstrate military formations on the Konstantinovsky parade-square. The Soviet period is not neglected, however, and Strelna has commemorated the Leningrad Blockade with several different events in early 2015. The well-equipped Strelna facility also hosts diverse additional functions at the “highest level” – a mantra reverently repeated on the website – such as scientific and political forums, corporate presentations, society galas, charitable auctions, and fashion shows, all of which partake in a share of Strelna’s reconstructed imperial grandeur.

  • 33 “Стрельна ждет лидеров. Встреча ‘восьмерки’ в интерьере старой России,” Эхо планеты, May 26, 2006.

23Strelna enjoys a higher cultural status today than it ever did, and the Strelna website displays a prominent home-page link to the Russian Federation’s presidential website – udprf.ru/. As the new “Palace of Congresses,” the renovated Konstantinovsky Palace hosted more than fifty heads of state during St. Petersburg tercentenary celebrations in 2003. Three years later, in July 2006, Strelna hosted the 32nd G8 summit, an event widely covered in the international press and throughout Russia.33 Most recently, the G-20 economic summit of September 2013 was held at Strelna. Among other high-level events, Strelna has also hosted heads of the European Union, leaders of the Independent States (SNG), the Council of Eurasian Economic Cooperation, and leaders of the Baltic and other neighboring states. Strelna also functions as a post-Soviet-style “business center,” as attested by the photos and descriptions of many such events on the complex’s website.

  • 34 See the essays “Versailles: Functions and Legends” by Hélène Himelfarb in Rethinking France, Chicag (...)
  • 35 Nora, “Between memory and history,” p. 24.

24Is it fair to call the new Strelna a “Russian Versailles”? Certainly, Strelna cannot claim the imperial pedigree and grandeur of historical Versailles – the Russian “Sun King” never reigned at Strelna, after all – and Strelna cannot compete with the world-class status of Versailles as an architectural monument, art museum, or tourist destination. Still, Versailles, like Strelna, suffered the denuding of its imperial furnishings after a revolution, and experienced the humiliation of occupation – by new German Emperor Wilhelm in 1871 and by Hitler in 1940. Versailles had to renew and diversify its cultural functions at many different historical junctures.34 Like Strelna, Versailles today is a government “facility,” used to host the 1987 G-7 economic summit and broadcasting portions of the proceedings on television. Like Versailles, Strelna has claimed the status of a Russian lieu, concealing the historical discontinuities that inevitably shape cultural memory, while remaining, in Nora’s words, “forever open to the full range of its possible significations.”35

Tsaritsyno: Twenty-First Century Museum-Park And Imperial Fantasyland

25The Tsaritsyno website proudly asserts the oxymoronic nature of the palacepark’s restoration: “The nearly unbelievable rebirth of Catherine the Great’s unrealized residence in the Moscow environs has come to pass in our time.”36 Tsaritsyno’s contemporary multi-functionality is signaled by the contrasting hyphenated terms that define its identity – historical-cultural and leisure-recreational. The reconstructed palace-park’s hybrid historicity is also reflected in first impressions: on entry to the grounds from the Orexovo metro station, as the visitor passes through a gate punctuated by the Romanov two-headed eagle emblem, an electronic signboard advertises Tsaritsyno excursions. From the heights of the paths that lead to the palace complex, distant construction cranes, new post-Soviet housing, and older Khrushchev-era apartment blocks are visible.

26In 1775, Catherine the Great purchased the estate-settlement, which had belonged to a succession of noble families, and named it Tsaritsyno. From 1776-1785 architect Vasilij Baženov worked on the new palace complex – a neo-gothic design in red brick and white stone. In 1786, however, a dissatisfied Catherine ordered the structure significantly dismantled. Architect Matvej Kazakov then took charge, modifying the design, but the Tsaritsyno project was plagued by problems, and the Grand Palace remained unfinished when the Empress died in 1796. The parklands were developed in the early nineteenth-century and became a favorite destination for late-imperial strollers, while the abandoned palace structures deteriorated. During the second half of the nineteenth century, plots of Tsaritsyno land were leased for dacha construction, accessible via a new railway line.

  • 37 M. I. Pyljaev, Старая Москва : рассказы из былой жизни первопрестольной столицы, Sankt- Peterburg, (...)
  • 38 See the section Мифы и легенды Царицыно on the museum-preserve website, tsaritsyno.net/ru/history/l (...)

27In 1880, the roof of the main palace partially collapsed, and in 1891, cultural historian Mikhail Pyljaev wrote, “The building, with its eight high towers resembles some kind of gigantic coffin, standing on the catafalque and surrounded by what appear to be gigantic monks with candles in their hands, standing motionless. This unlucky construction creates a melancholy, oppressive impression.”37 Pyljaev was repeating an observation that had often been made about Tsaritsyno, attested in numerous nineteenth-century sources, and reflecting the site’s mythos of “romantic ruins.”38

  • 39 For an account of growing up in the Tsaritsyno environs during the Soviet period, beginning in the (...)

28After the 1917 Revolution, Tsaritsyno was placed under supervision of the Moscow museum section Glavnauka, and in 1927, a small historical museum was established there. In 1937, the museum was closed, replaced by a workers’ club and a movie theater. In 1939, the church on the complex was closed and the church building was outfitted with a transformer substation. An auxiliary building in the complex was given over to the regional executive committee (raiispolkom) and a Lenin statue appeared out front. The Bread House – the palace’s kitchen complex – housed communal apartments.39 A plan was floated to turn the Tsaritsyno complex into a sanatorium, but as in Strelna’s case, World War II intervened.

  • 40 For an account of Tsaritsyno that predates this development, see E. N. Šemšurina, Царицыно, Moskva, (...)
  • 41 See T. E. Berdnikova et al, Царицыно, Moskva, Bioinformservis, 1996, p. 3-4.
  • 42 For a thorough historical account of Tsaritsyno encompassing all periods of its history as well as (...)

29In 1960, Tsaritsyno along with the rest of the regional center Lenino was incorporated into the expanding Moscow city territory and the area was transformed from a rural settlement to a city suburb.40 Specialists prepared a comprehensive restoration plan for the palace complex, but progress was slow. In 1984, Tsaritsyno was slated by the Ministry of Culture for re-purposing into the new State Museum of Decorative Arts, a consummately Soviet project in the works since the late 1950s, and for which a substantial collection had been amassed.41 Upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, the idea of a museum with traditional arts from each Soviet republic lost some of its force, although the existing artifacts were exhibited in various locations and the collection continued to grow. In 1993, the site was renamed the State MuseumPreserve Tsaritsyno and added to the federal register of historically and culturally significant monuments. Gradual restoration work on the complex’s various auxiliary structures continued, but the Great Palace and the Bread House still lay in a ruined state throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s.42

  • 43 Olga Nikoljskaja, “Москва обзаводится своим Петродворцом,” Вечерная Москва, November 14, 2005. See (...)
  • 44 Note the subtitle of the guidebook by I. Goljdin, Царицыно: императорский дворцово-парковый ансамбл (...)

30In 2004 the Russian federal government transferred Tsaritsyno to the supervision of the Moscow City government, providing Mayor Yuri Luzhkov license to forge ahead with his pet project. Luzhkov’s stated intention was to build “Moscow’s Peterhof” for the post-Soviet era and to create a museum with standing comparable to that of the Hermitage.43 In short order, “romantic ruins” were transformed into an “imperial palace-park ensemble for the people.”44 The new Tsaritsyno, with the Great Palace halls decorated in “eighteenth-century style,” proposed post-Soviet Moscow as the heir to Catherine the Great’s “Golden Age,” issuing a brash challenge to St. Petersburg’s Tsarskoe Selo. But the Tsaritsyno project also brought into sharp focus the inability of watchdog institutions such as Rosoxrankul′tura, Moskomnasledie, and the Federation’s General Prosecutor to enforce federal heritage protection laws and to limit the scope of the reconstruction plans.

  • 45 See “Строительство в Царицыне: с императорским размахом pro и contra,” Известия, January 18, 2006 a (...)
  • 46 “Архитектурные рубежи: творчество и ответственность. задача невыполнима? Обращайтесь в Моспроект-2, (...)
  • 47 See the opinion of Tsaritsyno General Director Viktor Egoričev, “В Царицыно достроят древний дворец (...)
  • 48 Olga Nikoljskaja, “Прощай, печальная руина!,” Вечерная Москва, June 6, 2006.

31Aleksej Komeč, the respected director of the Moscow Art History Institute, pronounced the planned approach of the intended restoration incompatible with modern scientific standards of restoration.45 Komeč termed the new Tsaritsyno a ‘fantastical restoration’ and famously warned, “We will choose whatever past takes our fancy and we will have the historical legacy that we invent for ourselves.” Mixail Posoxin, director of Mosproyekt-2, the architectural firm that oversaw the Tsaritsyno restoration, argued that “authenticity” could not serve as the standard precisely because the buildings and their interiors had never been completed.46 Still, in earlier years, some specialists had advocated for preserving the Great Palace as a “lasting historical ruin” like the Acropolis or the Coliseum, accessible through a modern museum “shell,” with new facilities constructed for other exhibitions.47 Luzhkov’s plan for Tsaritsyno went forward despite all objections, and the mayor famously exclaimed, “Fairwell, melancholy ruins! Hail to the reborn Tsaritsyno!”48

  • 49 For a history of the Bread House with excellent illustrations, see the Tsaritsyno museum-preserve’s (...)

32Seven thousand workers accomplished the 2005-2007 Tsaritsyno restoration work, which cost well over half a billion dollars. The construction of a glass cupola over the inner courtyard of the Bread House was particularly controversial, as this significantly altered the building’s silhouette, although it did create a striking atrium space for classical concerts.49 The greatest objections were raised about the restored roof of the Great Palace – a composite of plans made by Baženov and Kazakov – now light-green instead of the former gloomy black, and finished off with invented gilded detailing. Several completely new objects appeared within the palace complex territory and its environs, including a transformer booth in a “Gothic” style and an infamous computer-synchronized fountain with music and colored lights. (fig. 3)

3. Bread House and Tsaritsyno Main Palace

3. Bread House and Tsaritsyno Main Palace

© Julie Buckler.

  • 50 At Tsaritsyno’s opening in 2007, Putin declined to comment on the controversial restorations, decla (...)
  • 51 Царицыно музей-заповедник..., p. 69. In fact, the reconstructed Tsaritsyno has been characterized a (...)

33A flashy new Catherine Hall was created by combining rooms from the first and second floors of the never-previously-furnished Great Palace. The theme “Catherine’s Triumph” dominates the Hall, which features a triptych of her coronation, and gilded letters spelling out the monarch’s declaration: “Power without the people’s trust is meaningless” (Vlastbez doverija naroda ničego ne značit).50 The Hall’s centerpiece is a historical marble Catherine statue, a late nineteenth-century three-ton sculptural work by Alexander Opekushin that languished for decades in the storage vaults of museums in Petersburg, Moscow, and Erevan, after gracing the Moscow Duma for the brief period 1896-1917. (But like Strelna’s Shemyakin sculpture, Tsaritsyno also features a whimsical contemporary signature piece – Leonid Baranov’s 2007 rendering of architects Baženov and Kazakov, in the friendly stance of “two pals,” greeting visitors to the museum courtyard.) Like the Catherine Hall, the new Tauride Hall, which features a white Steinway piano for concerts, includes paintings that present contemporary renderings of historical themes in historical styles, creating a confusing irreality-effect. The Tsaritsyno guidebook justifies the new grand interiors as “an interesting pop (postmodern) interpretation of the devices of classical Russian art by contemporary artists.”51 (fig. 4)

4. Tsaritsyno’s Catherine Hall

4. Tsaritsyno’s Catherine Hall

© Julie Buckler.

  • 52 Rustam Raxmatulin, “За Царицыно ответишь,” Известия, January 21, 2009.
  • 53 Edmund Harris, “Thorny Issues,” in Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point, (2nd edition), Moskva, MAPS et (...)
  • 54 G. Revzin, “Пустое вместо что построили в Царицыне под видом памятника XVIII века,” Коммерсант, Sep (...)

34Aleksej Klimenko, Vice President of the Academy of Artistic Criticism, claimed the Tsaritsyno restoration broke fifteen different laws, for which comment Luzhkov launched an anti-defamation suit against him.52 Edmund Harris, a trustee of the Moscow Architectural Preservation Society (MAPS), compared the hasty and inauthentic “restoration” at Tsaritsyno unfavorably with the painstaking reconstruction of the Petersburg palace-parks following the Nazi invasion, declaring the result “an entirely new building incorporating historic fragments.”53 Journalist Grigory Revzin wrote, “The actual monument has been destroyed – irretrievably, in an irremedial manner, and I must add, triumphantly – spitting in the face of all of academic Russia – historians, art historians, museum specialists.”54

  • 55 See also the many poignant seasonal photographs of the ruined Tsaritsyno structures by Iu. V. Artam (...)
  • 56 See Тайна императрица. Путеводитель по выставке “Быль и новь Царицыно”, published by the Tsaritsyno(...)

35Tsaritsyno’s museum collections in the Great Palace and the Bread House now make use of new exhibition space that the Tsaritsyno website terms “a museum of the 21st century.” A glass pavilion in the main palace inner courtyard, modeled after the Louvre, leads down by escalator or elevator to the museumexhibition complex. Among the permanent exhibitions in the Great Palace basement is “The Past and Present of Tsaritsyno,” as reflected in visual materials, including drawings, sketches, and old photographs.55 The guidebook for this particular exhibition is titled “The Empress’s Secret,” and invites visitors to investigate the mysteries of Tsaritsyno’s troubled history and to vote for the explanations that seem most persuasive.56 In this way, the populist atmosphere promoted by the museum-preserve is made to confirm the purportedly legitimate, scholarly nature of the reconstruction. In contrast, the temporary exhibitions at Tsaritsyno emphasize imperial glamour – its images and ephemera. The exhibition “The Grand Ball of the XVIII-XX Centuries” featured elaborate period costumes, paintings and posters, and accessories such as fans, playing cards, shoes, and snuffboxes. “The Eighteenth Century on the Screen: Catherine the Second and Friedrich the Second” treated period-style films and used multiple screens to project the films, also displaying film production equipment, costumes, and royal props. The second floor of the Bread House houses the permanent exhibition “Art within the Borders of the Soviet Union,” which exhibits traditional arts and crafts from the old Soviet State Museum of Decorative Arts collection, a nostalgic if sometimes incongruous tribute to the old Soviet past, countered by the growth of the collection to include contemporary works from the former republics.

36The English-style “landscape” park at Tsaritsyno and its pavilions have been updated, with the addition of new statues in “antique” styles by contemporary sculptors such as Alexander Burganov. The reconstruction results in some curious temporal juxtapositions, as in the case of the 1804 “Ruined Tower,” a typical caprice of Pre-Romantic landscape parks, which had become a real ruin by the end of the nineteenth century. The spruced-up contemporary version of the “Ruined Tower” includes an incongruous metal staircase that allows visitors to enjoy the view from the top.

  • 57 Natalija Samutina, Natalija Komarova, “Тонны воды летят по немыслимым траекториям: фонтанаттракцион (...)
  • 58 For an account of the new Tsaritsyno as exemplifying contemporary post-Soviet public cultural space(...)
  • 59 See the array of children’s programs outlined in the 2013 booklet Учимся в Царицыно: в помощь родит (...)

37The Tsaritsyno grounds have struck cultural commentators as a hybrid of two distinct public park types.57 The first type, the Soviet “people’s park” (Park kul′tury i otdyxa), was itself a hybrid of cultural recreation-space for the masses and exhibition-space for their production achievements. The second type of public outdoor recreation space evoked by the new Tsaritsyno is the contemporary multi-functional mass-entertainment theme-park.58 Tsaritsyno also maintains a staunchly populist and communitarian image, with its many family programs, annual festival of honey producers, children’s events, folkdance performances, and traditional Russian festivals.59 And now Tsaritsyno is one of the sites of Moscow’s popular new annual Circle of Light festival, which features intricate lighting installations and illumination spectacles, including 3D video mapping projections on building facades, and accompanied by music and live performing artists.

  • 60 For a broader look at this phenomenon, see Catherine Merridale, “Redesigning history in contemporar (...)

38More than anything else, however, Tsaritsyno is a portal into an imperial fantasyland. The Tsaritsyno museum-preserve offers special “theatricalized” and “interactive” excursions, populating the rooms of the Great Palace with actors in costume to enhance corporate or other private functions “at the very highest level.” These programs present Tsaritsyno as an authentic reanimation of the imperial past, rather than a contemporary creation that manifests a fictional version of history – the Catherinian court atmosphere that never actually reigned at Tsaritsyno.60

  • 61 Boris Sizov, “Царицыно: реставрация илигламурный Диснейлeнд’?”, ИА Regnum, November 20, 2008.
  • 62 Huyssen, Present pasts, p. 19.

39Tsaritsyno has been reviled by its critics as a “Russian Disneyland,” but is the Tsaritsyno “reconstruction” more deserving of this epithet than, for example, the late nineteenth-century Russian Revival architectural style favored by Alexander III, which proposed a visual unity with the sixteenth-century St. Basil’s Cathedral and posited a continuity of style that had not existed in history?61 The State Historical Museum, old Moscow City Hall building, and the Upper Trading Rows – all faux-Russian Revival buildings – are now seen as valuable federally-listed heritage structures, no less valuable than their “authentic” Muscovy-era predecessors, which were themselves updated over the centuries in ways that today’s specialists would deplore. Might Tsaritsyno also someday be seen as a valuable heritage structure in these same terms? Andreas Huyssen argues, “We cannot simply pit the serious Holocaust museum against Disneyfied theme parks... Once we acknowledge the constitutive gap between reality and its representation in language or image, we must in principle be open to many different possibilities of representing the real and its memories.”62

40The new Tsaritsyno raises the challenging question of historical “authenticity” and cultural heritage, the extent to which our embrace of authenticity as a cultural imperative for heritage structures in the present is itself a relatively recent historical phenomenon. Without in any way mitigating the violations of preservation principles at both sites, we might also consider Strelna and Tsaritsyno along a much wider spectrum of heritage re-uses, both historical and contemporary, in Russia and elsewhere.

Comparisons and Conclusions

  • 63 Nora, “Between memory and history”, p. 12.
  • 64 Eric Hobsbawm, “Introduction: Inventing Traditions”, in: E. J. Hobsbawm, and T. O. Ranger (eds.), T (...)

41Despite the strenuous efforts and insistent rhetoric surrounding their contemporary incarnations, the reconstructed versions of Strelna and Tsaritsyno share an eerie air of unreality. Although Strelna is officially a presidential residence, no one actually lives there, and no one has ever lived at Tsaritsyno. The palace interiors of both sites feature paintings, sculptures, furnishings, and panels that are either copies of real historical works or original works by contemporary Russian artists executed in historical styles or depicting historical scenes. In some cases, the visitor may actually be in the presence of the original historical work of art, but it is often impossible to understand the origin, authenticity, or author of any given object. The uninhabited nature of both palaces – except for very brief and purely symbolic state affairs at Strelna – coupled with the manifold contemporary multi-functionalities of both, gives them a hollow quality. In Nora’s words, the palaces have been “torn away from the movements of history, then returned: no longer quite life, not yet death, like shells on the shore when living memory has receded.”63 But in fact, the massive and ostentatious palace-parks were always cavernous half-realities that served as sites for staging “invented traditions.”64

  • 65 Julia Hell and Andreas Schönle (eds.), Ruins of modernity, Durham, Duke University Press, 2010, p. (...)

42What has been lost at both Strelna and Tsaritsyno is their authentic “ruinvalue.” In the words of Julia Hell and Andreas Schönle, ruins suggest a transcendence of the present, evoking “divergent memories,” provoking “democratic debate” vital to a civil society “properly cognizant of its own historicity.”65 Tsaritsyno might have continued its long life as a beloved nineteenth-centurystyle romantic ruin, but perhaps canonized as such within a self-aware contemporary museum frame. Strelna, in contrast, might have served as a standing ruin to the combined destructive force of the Soviet state and the German invaders, a monument to the ill-treatment meted out by the twentieth century to so many Russian heritage structures.

  • 66 Riegl, p. 23.

43In the 1990s, both Strelna and Tsaritsyno in their ruined states represented, by virtue of their respective misfortunes, what Alois Reigl called “unintentional monuments” – structures with age-value that illustrated their contingent histories.66 These are precisely the heritage structures that are most vulnérable to uncertainties of the present, often treated ruthlessly or even torn down to create room for contemporary needs. With a view to their use-value in the postSoviet present, both Strelna and Tsaritsyno have been remade as “intentional monuments,” and thus have a renewed life. But who is to say how either will be perceived in the future, and in what condition they will exist?

44Post-Soviet Strelna and Tsaritsyno represent diverse forms taken by contemporary Russian reclamation, repatriation, and revival of traditions from the imperial period. Strelna is committed to resurrecting official tsarist traditions such as military cadet graduation ceremonies and grand balls. Tsaritsyno mounts lavish exhibitions with high-imperial themes. Both also serve popular as well as elite purposes, staging “mass” celebrations of folk holidays and popular anniversaries “(World War II, Pushkin’s birthday) a practice in keeping with imperial times.”

45Post-Soviet nostalgia for the imperial past is unmistakable at both Strelna and Tsaritsyno, but the ornate tsarist trappings also paradoxically evoke a wistful sense of the Soviet era. “Palace of culture” was, after all, an imperial concept both semantically and physically rehabilitated for ordinary Soviet citizens after the 1917 Revolution, as was the Soviet cultural institution of the “Park of Culture and Rest” that transformed so many imperial gardens. Today, the general tenor of the many occasions for recognizing civic contributions and awarding prizes at Strelna and Tsaritsyno evinces a stuffy and carefully-performed formality strongly reminiscent of Soviet times. And the stern security-heavy atmosphere at Strelna has a distinctly Brezhnev-era tone. The significant portion of the Tsaritsyno Bread House devoted to a permanent exhibition from the old USSR decorative-arts museum project may remind some visitors of the incongruous Soviet-era uses of the ruined Tsaritsyno palace-complex – communal apartments, movie theater, hippie hang-out, and alpinist training resource, among others.

  • 67 Nora, p. 19.

46As sham “reconstructions,” Strelna and Tsaritsyno figure a specious historical continuity as sites for remembering what never was. But as Nora reminds us, lieux de mémoire “only exist because of their capacity for metamorphosis, an endless recycling of their meaning, and an unpredictable proliferation of their ramifications.”67 Lieux are defined by their talent for escaping from history, adapting to changing historical circumstances, and profiting from historical discontinuities by reinventing themselves. This would make today’s Strelna and Tsaritsyno lieux de mémoire par excellence.

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Notes

1 Strong expressions of this view can be found in Kevin Lynch, What time is this place?, Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 1972, and Stewart Brand, How buildings learn: what happens after they’re built, New York, Viking, 1994.

2 For studies of cultural heritage objects and their contemporary predicaments, see David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1985; Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory, Vol 1.: Past and present in contemporary culture, London, Verso, 1994; Alexander Stille, The future of the past, New York, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2002; Andreas Huyssen, Present pasts: urban palimpsests and the politics of memory, Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press, 2003; and the “Time and Memory” section of Twilight memories: marking time in a culture of amnesia, New York, Routlegde, 1995. For a broader treatment of the present past, see Jacques Le Goff, History and memory, trans., Steven Rendell and Elizabeth Claman, New York, Columbia University Press, 1992; and Alon Confino, “Collective Memory and Cultural History: Problems of Method,” The American historical review 102, no. 5, December 1997. For general background on the modern notion of monuments, see Françoise Choay, The invention of the historic monument, Cambridge, UK, 2001. See also Alois Riegl, Der moderne denkmalkultus, sein wesen, seine entstehung, Vienna, W. Braumüller, 1903. For an English translation of Riegl, see K. W. Forster and D. Ghirardo, “The modern cult of monuments: its character and origin,” Oppositions 25, 1982.

3 David Lowenthal, The heritage crusade and the spoils of history, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 129.

4 For investigation into the current fate of cultural heritage monuments in Russia’s two most important cities, see Edmund Harris, ed., Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point (second edition), Moskva, MAPS et al., 2009, and Clementine Cecil and Elena Minchenok, eds., St. Petersburg: Heritage at Risk, London, MAPS et al., 2012. Other studies of post-Soviet attitudes toward cultural heritage include Bruce Grant, “New Moscow monuments, or, states of innocence”, American ethnologist 28, no. 2, May 1, 2001, and Benjamin Forest and Juliet Johnson, “Unraveling the Threads of History: Soviet-Era Monuments and Post-Soviet National Identity in Moscow,” Annals of the association of American geographers 92, no. 3, September 2002. See also selected essays in: Julie A. Buckler and Emily D. Johnson, (eds.), Rites of Place: Public Commemoration in Russia and Eastern Europe, Evanston, Ill., Northwestern University Press, 2013.

5 This suggestion of alternative histories is one of the primary functions of ruins, as described in the introduction to Andreas Schönle, Architecture of oblivion: ruins and historical consciousness in modern Russia, DeKalb, Ill., Northern Illinois University Press, 2011, p. 28.

6 Luzhkov’s most famous Moscow project was the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in the 1990s. See Dmitri Sidorov, “National monumentalization and the politics of scale: the resurrections of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow,” Annals of the association of American geographers 90, no. 3, September 2000; Kathleen E. Smith, “An old cathedral for a new Russia: the symbolic politics of the reconstituted Church of Christ the Saviour,” Religion, state and society 25, no. 2, 1997; Ekaterina V. Haskins, “Russia’s postcommunist past: the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the reimagining of national identity.” History & memory 21, no. 1, Spring/Summer 2009. See also Nurit Schleifman, “Moscow’s Victory Park: a monumental change,” History and memory 13, no. 2, October 1, 2001; and Cordula Gdaniec, “Reconstruction in Moscow’s historic centre: conservation, planning, and finance strategies — the example of the Ostozhenka district,” GeoJournal 42, no. 4, August 1997.

7 For background on the culturally constituted relationship between the two cities, see K. G. Isupov (ed.), Москва-Петербург: pro et contra. Диалог культур в истории национального самосознания, SanktPeterburg, Iz-vo russkogo khristianskogo gumanitarnogo instituta, 2000.

8 Pierre Nora, “Between memory and history: les lieux de mémoire,” Representations, no. 26, Spring 1989, p. 7.

9 Id., “Preface”, in Realms of memory: the construction of the French past, New York, Columbia University Press, 1996, vol. 1 p. xxiv.

10 Georges Nivat offers a substantive first installment of a larger collaborative project that uses Nora’s methodology for a broad, multi-volume examination of Russian lieux with contributions by dozens of scholars, many from Russia. See Georges Nivat (ed.), les Sites de la mémoire russe, t. 1: Géographie de la mémoire russe, Paris, Fayard, 2007. Especially pertinent in the context of this article are the essays on Moscow (W. Berelowitch) and St. Petersburg (G. Nefedev), as well as the essays on country estates – Ostafievo by E. Dmitrieva and Muranovo by A. Peskov and A. Bodrova. None of the Petersburg palace-parks are the subject of a dedicated essay in the volume, although A. Schönle’s essay on parks and gardens provides an overview of their landscaped environs.

11 Georges Nivat, “Mémoire russe, oubli russe,” his introduction to les Sites de la mémoire russe, p. 21-22.

12 A. V. Lunačarskij, “Почему мы охраняем дворцы романовых (путевые впечатления),” Об изобразительном искусстве, t. 2, Moskva, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1967. See also Anne Odom and Wendy Salmond (eds.), Treasures into tractors: the selling of Russia’s cultural heritage, 1918-1938, Seattle, Washington University Press, 2009.

13 See A. A. Kedrinskij and I. A. Bartenev, Летопись возрождения. восстановление памятников архитектуры Ленинграда и пригородов, Leningrad, Stroizdat, 1971; Ia. I. Shurygin, Петергоф. Летопись восстановления, Sankt-Peterburg, Abris, 2000; X. I. Topaž, Петергоф, возрожденный из пепла, SanktPeterburg, Dmitrii Bulanin, 2009; M. I. Gromova, and A. M. Kučumova. “Павловский дворец-музеи научная реставрация павловского дворца после великой отечественной войны, 1944-1969 годы,” Павловск. Императорский дворец. Страницы истории, Sankt-Peterburg, Art-Palas Lenart, 1997. See also Christopher Morgan and Irina Orlova, Saving the tsarspalaces, Clifton-upon-Teme, Polperro Heritage, 2005; Suzanne Massie, Pavlovsk: The life of a Russian palace, Boston, MA, Little Brown, 1990.

14 The exact boundaries of the environs for each palace-park are not clear, however, and these pleasant small satellite towns are now considered prime real estate and are under assault by developers. UNESCO has taken the matter under study since 2014, closely examining the boundaries and buffer zones defined throughout the widely dispersed environs.

15 For an overview of specialists’ standards, see Проблемы воссоздания утраченных памятников архитектуры: pro et contra, Moskva, Zhiraf, 1998, a product of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction.

16 http://www.icomos.org/fr/docs/venice_charter.html

17 http://www.konstantinpalace.ru/

18 The large body of secondary literature in English and French that treats St. Petersburg mythology and cultural memory includes Joseph Brodsky, “A Guide to a Renamed City,” in Less than one: selected essays, New York, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986; Wladimir Bérélowitch, Histoire de Saint-Pétersbourg, Paris, Fayard, 1996; Ewa Bérard (ed.), Saint-Pétersbourg, une fenêtre sur la Russie : ville, modernisation, modernité, 1900-1935, Paris, Maison des sciences de l’homme, 2000; Julie A. Buckler, Mapping St. Petersburg: imperial text and cityshape, Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press, 2005; Emily D. Johnson, How St. Petersburg learned to study itself: the Russian idea of kraevedenie, University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006; Helena Goscilo and Stephen M. Norris (eds.), Preserving Petersburg: history, memory, nostalgia, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2008; Olga Matich (ed.), Petersburg/Petersburg: Novel and City, 1900-1921, Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin Press, 2010; Catriona Kelly, St. Petersburg: shadows of the past, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2014 and Remembering St. Petersburg, Triton Press, 2014.

19 M. V. Nikolaeva, “Скульптура в ансамбле государственного комплекса ‘Дворец конгрессов’, ” in Константиновский дворцово-парковый ансамбль в Стрельне. история и современность, SanktPeterburg, Dmitri Bulanin, 2006. See also Svetlana Evdokimova, “Sculptured history: images of imperial power in the literature and culture of St. Petersburg (from Falconet to Shemiakin),” The Russian Review 65, no. 2, 2006.

20 For a description of life at Strelna during this period, see V. V. Gerasimov, Большой дворец в Стрельнебез четверти три столетия, Sankt-Peterburg, Almaz, 1997, p. 72-131 and E. P. Chernoberežskaja, Стрельна и Петергоф. Подробный путеводитель, Sankt-Peterburg, Paritet, 2008, p. 19-42.

21 For a description of Strelna during this transitional period of Soviet repurposing, see V. Ia. Kurbatov, Стрельна и Ораниенбаум, Leningrad, Leningradskogo gubernskogo soveta professional′nykh soiuzov, 1925, p. 16-25.

22 See, for example, “Политика и экономика. имперские сны Санкт-Петербурга,” Московский комсомолец, March 13, 2001.

23 Elena Mazneva and Maria Cvetkova, “Нефтяной дворец,” Ведомости, no. 182, September 28, 2010. See also “Это была воистину народная стройка,” Санкт-Петербургские ведомости, January 27, 2004.

24 See, for example, “Привелегии. Пожить по-царски”, Московские новости, October 3, 2000 and “Дворцовая болезнь прогрессирует,” Общая газета, March 15, 2001.

25 A “presidential” residence must be able to serve as the locus for the commander in chief of the armed forces, whereas a “state” residence is not expected to support those special systems. In addition, a “state” residence can be used for functions of any level or format.

26 “Помоги реставраторам,” Санкт-Петербургские ведомости, February 6, 2002.

27 Viktor Kostjukovskij, “Благотворительная стройка под Питером,” Новые известия, March 20, 2002.

28 The literature on St. Petersburg at this hopeful moment includes the Petersburg chapter in Svetlana Boym, The future of nostalgia, New York, Basic Books, 2001; Elena Hellberg-Hirn, Imperial imprints: postsoviet St. Petersburg, Helsinki, SKS, Finnish Literature Society, 2003; Pertti Joenniemi, “The New Saint Petersburg: Trapped in Time?,” Alternatives: global, local, political 28, no. 5, November 1, 2003; Пространство Санкт-Петербурга. Памятники культурного наследия и современная городская среда: материалы научно-практической конференции, Sankt-Peterburg, Filologicheskii fakul′tet SPbGU, 2003; Joyce Lasky Reed, Blair A. Ruble, and William Craft Brumfield (eds.), St. Petersburg, 1993-2003: the dynamic decade: a series of essays on the transition from the end of communism to the beginning of Putin’s ascendance, Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg Conservancy, 2010.

29 See Стрельна и Петергоф, p. 123-135, for guidebook description of a visit to Strelna today. For specific information about the restoration, see the essay by head architect G. B. Mixailov, “Проблемы реконструкции и реставрации Константиновского дворца в Стрельне,” in Константиновский дворцовопарковый ансамбль в Стрельне, which ends with a call to enable old buildings to “adapt” to twenty-firstcentury needs. See also N. I. Ivanov, “О воссоздании некоторых музейных и парадных интерьеров Константиновского дворца,” in the same volume. The very technical Реконструкция Константиновского дворца. специальный выпуск журнала Реконструкция городов и геотехническое строительство, SanktPeterburg, ACB, 2003, opens with a short forward by Hermitage Director M. B. Piotrovskij.

30 See Aleksej Erofeev, “Стрельнинское чудо,” Парламентская газета, no. 36, May 29, 2009. See also Константиновский дворцово-парковый ансамбль и его художественные коллекции, Sankt-Peterburg, 2009.

31 Strelna has created an entire scholarly apparatus to study and celebrate itself. Strelna hosts an annual conference and produces an annual volume in the series Константиновские чтения, intended to broaden public awareness about the Konstantinoviči and their historical role, and publishes the results.

32 saint-petersburg.ru/m/234511/w_peterburg_na_perwyy_w_rossii_bal_woyna_i_mir_s.html

33 “Стрельна ждет лидеров. Встреча ‘восьмерки’ в интерьере старой России,” Эхо планеты, May 26, 2006.

34 See the essays “Versailles: Functions and Legends” by Hélène Himelfarb in Rethinking France, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 2001, vol. 1 and “Versailles: The Image of the Sovereign” by Édouard Pommier in Realms of memory, vol. 3 – respectively from the Chicago and Columbia abridged translations of Nora’s original project.

35 Nora, “Between memory and history,” p. 24.

36 http://www.tsaritsyno-museum.ru/

37 M. I. Pyljaev, Старая Москва : рассказы из былой жизни первопрестольной столицы, Sankt- Peterburg, 1891, p. 226.

38 See the section Мифы и легенды Царицыно on the museum-preserve website, tsaritsyno.net/ru/history/legendy/myths_and_legends_of_the_tsarina.php

39 For an account of growing up in the Tsaritsyno environs during the Soviet period, beginning in the early 1920s, see A. L. Grišunin (Andrei Vissor), Царицыно. записки старожила, Moskva, IITS “DS”, 2000.

40 For an account of Tsaritsyno that predates this development, see E. N. Šemšurina, Царицыно, Moskva, Gos. iz-vo literatury po stroitel′stvu i arkhitekture, 1957.

41 See T. E. Berdnikova et al, Царицыно, Moskva, Bioinformservis, 1996, p. 3-4.

42 For a thorough historical account of Tsaritsyno encompassing all periods of its history as well as the environs, see L. V. Andreeva, Музей-заповедник Царицыно: дворцовый ансамбль, парк, коллекции, Moskva, Gos. muzei-zapovednik “Tsaritsyno”, 2005. A historical encyclopedia for Tsaritsyno is currently being prepared by the museum-preserve’s scholars.

43 Olga Nikoljskaja, “Москва обзаводится своим Петродворцом,” Вечерная Москва, November 14, 2005. See also “В Москве появится свой Эрмитаж,” ИА Regnum, December 22, 2004.

44 Note the subtitle of the guidebook by I. Goljdin, Царицыно: императорский дворцово-парковый ансамбль для людей (книга-альбом), Moskva, Kulturno-sportivno-ozdorovitelnye kompleksy, 2010.

45 See “Строительство в Царицыне: с императорским размахом pro и contra,” Известия, January 18, 2006 and “Нигде в мире так со своими дворцами не обращаются: интерьвю Алексея Комеча,” ИА Regnum, January 19, 2006. See also “Судьба исторического наследия в руках дрожащей вертикале,” ИА Regnum, May 12, 2006.

46 “Архитектурные рубежи: творчество и ответственность. задача невыполнима? Обращайтесь в Моспроект-2,” Московская правда, August 9, 2005.

47 See the opinion of Tsaritsyno General Director Viktor Egoričev, “В Царицыно достроят древний дворец,” Комсомольская правда, October 18, 2004.

48 Olga Nikoljskaja, “Прощай, печальная руина!,” Вечерная Москва, June 6, 2006.

49 For a history of the Bread House with excellent illustrations, see the Tsaritsyno museum-preserve’s 2013 booklet, Быль и новь Хлебного дома.

50 At Tsaritsyno’s opening in 2007, Putin declined to comment on the controversial restorations, declaring in answer to questions from journalists that everything was done at Tsaritsyno “as would be best for the people.” See Царицыно музей-заповедник. Путеводитель по историческим памятникам и достопримечательностям, Moskva, Gos. muzei-zapovednikTsaritsyno”, 2013, p. 17.

51 Царицыно музей-заповедник..., p. 69. In fact, the reconstructed Tsaritsyno has been characterized as an unwitting postmodern parody in its simulation of an imaginary epic past. See Boris Stepanov and Darja Xlevnjuk, “Музей после истории: несколько веков и несколько лет из жизни усадьбы Царицыно,” Неприкосновенный запас, no. 1, 2011 (Царицыно: история одной модернизации), p. 199.

52 Rustam Raxmatulin, “За Царицыно ответишь,” Известия, January 21, 2009.

53 Edmund Harris, “Thorny Issues,” in Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point, (2nd edition), Moskva, MAPS et al., 2009, p. 242-248.

54 G. Revzin, “Пустое вместо что построили в Царицыне под видом памятника XVIII века,” Коммерсант, September 1, 2007. For additional critique, see Olga Vaxoničeva, “‘Муляж вместо памятника’. Царицыно открывается после реставрации,” Радио свобода, August 20, 2007, as well as the series of articles by Rustam Raxmatulin, among them “Царицыно: губернаторская архитектура побеждает императорскую,” Известия, January 29, 2007, and “Царицыно: радоваться или придираться?,” Известия, September 5, 2007. See also the transcript of the program Культурный шок: “Царицыно: новодел или Версаль?,” August 9, 2007, echo.msk.ru/programs/kulshok/54664/

55 See also the many poignant seasonal photographs of the ruined Tsaritsyno structures by Iu. V. Artamonov in: K. I. Mineeva, Царицыно: дворцово-парковый ансамбль, Moskva, Iskusstvo, 1988.

56 See Тайна императрица. Путеводитель по выставке “Быль и новь Царицыно”, published by the Tsaritsyno museum-preserve in 2013.

57 Natalija Samutina, Natalija Komarova, “Тонны воды летят по немыслимым траекториям: фонтанаттракцион и новая образность парка Царицыно,” Неприкосновенный запас, no. 1, p. 213-5.

58 For an account of the new Tsaritsyno as exemplifying contemporary post-Soviet public cultural space, see N. V. Samutina and O. N. Zaporožec, Свой среди других: антропология нормы в пространстве царицынского парка, Moskva, Vyshaia shkola ekonomiki, 2012. See also the edited volume Царицыно: аттракцион с историей, N. V. Samutina (ed. ), Moskva, NLO, 2014.

59 See the array of children’s programs outlined in the 2013 booklet Учимся в Царицыно: в помощь родителям и педагогам. Interactive programs, such as “Are You Going to the Ball?” and “Dinner is Served, Your Majesty” teach Russian schoolchildren to practice the social norms of 18th century court culture.

60 For a broader look at this phenomenon, see Catherine Merridale, “Redesigning history in contemporary Russia,” Journal of contemporary history 38, no. 1, January 2003.

61 Boris Sizov, “Царицыно: реставрация илигламурный Диснейлeнд’?”, ИА Regnum, November 20, 2008.

62 Huyssen, Present pasts, p. 19.

63 Nora, “Between memory and history”, p. 12.

64 Eric Hobsbawm, “Introduction: Inventing Traditions”, in: E. J. Hobsbawm, and T. O. Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

65 Julia Hell and Andreas Schönle (eds.), Ruins of modernity, Durham, Duke University Press, 2010, p. 10.

66 Riegl, p. 23.

67 Nora, p. 19.

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Table des illustrations

Titre 1. Strelna as Window to Europe
Légende © Julie Buckler
URL http://journals.openedition.org/res/docannexe/image/655/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 565k
Titre 2. Security at Strelna
Crédits © Julie Buckler.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/res/docannexe/image/655/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 661k
Titre 3. Bread House and Tsaritsyno Main Palace
Crédits © Julie Buckler.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/res/docannexe/image/655/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 538k
Titre 4. Tsaritsyno’s Catherine Hall
Crédits © Julie Buckler.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/res/docannexe/image/655/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 194k
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Julie Buckler, « Beyond Preservation: Post-Soviet Reconstructions of the Strelna and Tsaritsyno Palace-Parks »Revue des études slaves, LXXXVI-1-2 | 2015, 41-59.

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Julie Buckler, « Beyond Preservation: Post-Soviet Reconstructions of the Strelna and Tsaritsyno Palace-Parks »Revue des études slaves [En ligne], LXXXVI-1-2 | 2015, mis en ligne le 26 mars 2018, consulté le 21 mai 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/res/655 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/res.655

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Julie Buckler

Harvard University

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