Sep 13, 2020
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The Union of Architects of Russia announced a competition for a project to use the Lenin Mausoleum in a new capacity

The Union of Architects (SA) of Russia has announced an all-Russian competition for the best concept for the re-use of Lenin's mausoleum on Red Square. The decision to hold the competition was made on August 25, but its provisions were approved and published only on September 11, RBC writes with reference to the CA press service.

The purpose of the competition is to create a bank of ideas for re-using the mausoleum, according to the website of the Union of Architects. Given the proximity of the structure built by Aleksey Shchusev to the Museum of Russian Architecture on Vozdvizhenka, "it seems expedient to transform the Mausoleum into a branch of this museum dedicated to the history of design and construction of all three versions of the Mausoleum - plywood, wood and granite".

The CA stressed that there is no political order for the competition. The creative competition is a special project of the Zodchestvo festival and is designed to collect "the maximum number of architectural ideas, no matter how ambiguous they are."

The position of the competition notes that "the presence of the leader of the October Socialist Revolution, V.I. Russian Orthodox tradition, as well as the will of the leader himself. "

Participants are invited to develop a foresketch (a sketch that serves as the basis for the further development of a draft design) of a project for re-using the mausoleum as a museum, as well as organize a route linking the mausoleum with the Museum of Russian Architecture. Other ideas for re-using the mausoleum are "not only allowed, but welcome," the SA noted.

Certified architects and authors' teams, students, artists, designers, as well as citizens of Russia and the CIS countries are invited to participate in the project. Russian Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova, director of Kremlin museums Elena Gagarina, head of the Fair Russia party Sergei Mironov, writer Alexander Prokhanov, film director Alexander Sokurov, President of SA Russia Nikolai Shumakov, one of the founders of the Arkhnadzor movement Rustam Rakhmatullin and others are invited to the jury of the competition public figures.

Applications are accepted until October 19. The best works will be exhibited from November 11 to 13 as part of the Zodchestvo festival in Gostiny Dvor, and on the final day of the event, November 13, the winners of the competition will be announced.

The leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, called the initiative of the Union of Architects "provocative", while, apparently, did not delve into the essence of the competition, as he began to accuse the organizers of trying to "break something, reshape". "Everyone goes crazy in their own way. The Mausoleum and the Kremlin are protected by UNESCO as a world treasure. Our Soviet history is unthinkable without Red Square and the Mausoleum," Zyuganov told Gazeta.Ru.

The press secretary of the Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova Anna Usacheva and the representative of Sergei Mironov told the publication that they had heard about this competition for the first time.

President of the Union of Architects of Russia Nikolai Shumakov explained to RBC that the organizers of the competition do not propose to take out Lenin's body or demolish the mausoleum, but propose "to find a solution for the further use of the greatest work of Soviet architecture, which the mausoleum is at the time when Lenin will still be buried."

According to Shumakov, he believes that sooner or later Lenin's will to bury him in the Volkovskoye cemetery next to his mother will be fulfilled. "How to use the premises after this? It should not be idle, it should be somehow operated", - said the President of the CA. The proposal to turn the building into a branch of the Shchusev Museum of Architecture is connected with this.

At the end of August, the head of the synodal department for relations between the church, society and the media of the Russian Orthodox Church, Vladimir Legoyda, expressed the opinion that sooner or later Lenin's body would be buried. Russian President Vladimir Putin more than once drew parallels between communist ideology and Christianity, and compared Lenin's body with the relics of saints. In the ROC, such a comparison was called a substitution of concepts, which is obvious to believers.

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