Disappearing masterpieces

Type: Traditional architecture and cultural landscapes

Participating countries:Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic

Duration: September 2010 – March 2012

Total budget: 224,000 EUR (of which 80 % from an EU grant)

Aim: To improve the situation in conservation of unique cultural monuments of Russian wooden architecture through raising public awareness and planning and policy tools

The project addressed the issue of extensive degradation of historical wooden architecture in Russia and the need to preserve and restore the remaining valuable wooden buildings (over 80 % of churches and chapels known before the October Revolution/1920s have disappeared) as many of these are in the state of disrepair and under threat of disappearance. The project focused on attracting wider public and stakeholders’ interest to wooden architecture monuments and strived to enhance public access to these monuments. It called for a long-term strategy to conserve historical wooden architecture in Russia and for better financial support by relevant authorities and stakeholders.

Main results:
1) A dedicated photographic exhibition was created which presented unique European and Russian wooden monuments, informed about the challenges faced to save these buildings from destruction and explained about possible techniques of their restoration. About 10,000 viewers saw the exhibition in several Russian cities (Arkhangelsk, Moscow, Petrozavodsk and Vologda) and in Prague and Roznov pod Radhostem in the Czech Republic. .
2) Architectural plan of park of traditional architecture miniatures Kenozero Spillkins developed and 2 objects constructed
3) New opportunities for support of wooden monuments conservation from business and other stakeholders created
4) Management efficiency of 4 open-air museums, 5 ethnographical villages and 4 national parks improved, new approaches to interpretation of cultural heritage introduced and making them more lively and interesting for the public
5) Mobility of about 200 restorers of wooden monuments facilitated and curricula enriched and disseminated to 5 national parks, 6 restoration companies, 9 universities, 10 museums, 3 NGOs and 2 vocational schools
6) Cultural co-operation between 7 European and 25 Russian institutions improved

Role of Machaon: Project proposal development. Machaon’s director was involved as the project manager.
Partners: Fund of Support of Wooden Architecture, Club of Friends of Kenozero National Park (Russia), Wallachian Open-air Museum (Czech Republic)
Location: Arkhangelsk and Vologda regions, Republic of Karelia, Russia
Protected areas involved: Kenozero National Park, Vodlozero National Park (Russia) and Northern Moravia (Czech Republic)
Funding source: Institution Building Partnership Programme of the European Commission