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Marina Loshak: "After every Sunday, conservation professionals reconstruct our exhibits"
29 April, 17:12
Marina Loshak: "After every Sunday, conservation professionals reconstruct our exhibits"
Photo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty1MeURDjoI&t=4605s
In an interview on the Meduza Originals YouTube channel, the director of the Pushkin Museum. A.S. Pushkina Marina Loshak spoke about the “distance of non-admission” in museum spaces, about how visitors to the Pushkin Museum exhibits behave and what her nightmare is as the head of a large museum complex.

“We adore our viewer, but the threshold of aggression is very high.

And for some reason it seems to people that this is a good way to throw it on someone else. And in general, it seems so everywhere, including in the museum.

We are very emotional, in general, as a people. There are many emotions in the air in Moscow.

And the habit of throwing out emotion is, so to speak, our peculiarity.

Therefore, the caretaker is always a buffer. These are always people who take (the blow) on themselves.

It is clear that no matter how stable a person is, not everyone is stable, especially when they are adults ... The main conversation that we have when hiring a new caretaker is how stress-resistant a person is. Because, of course, there is a lot of stress.

...No other museum in the world will allow you to get as close to a painting as you want.

There are exceptions that are phenomenal, I want to mention them, because it struck me. It was at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which I adore, I think that there is an incomparable reconstruction, I am proud that they have filled everything in gray, our mentality does not allow this, the color of the walls should be historical, as it is believed, such restoration standards.

So, I walked around this museum, they showed me everything, and then they set me free and I walked around it myself, which is very important; the museum was full of people. It was about a month after the opening.

I walked around the hall and suddenly decided to commit some meanness, such a provocation. I walked over to a beautiful 13th-century object that stood in the center of the room. It doesn't matter what subject matter. And I touched it, or rather, I didn’t just touch it, but I took it like that.

I think: something will happen now! I wanted to check what would happen. It was important to me as knowledge, I explained to you why.

There was nothing. At all. There was no sound, there was no caretaker in the hall. Nothing at all! Nothing happened at all.

And I'm thinking, let me go on like this, with my hand (I will draw). Again, nothing. I went further: in another, in the third (hall) - nothing happened at all.

Then I honestly talked to the chief custodian, because we had a conversation with him. I say, this is fantastic, because these are all originals, not casts, and we also do not allow you to touch casts!

They say: yes, that's how it is with us. And I say, what if the children - you have a lot of children - scratch something, or someone actively does something, what will happen?

And the keeper said to me in a calm voice: we will restore it.

But this is only in the Rijksmuseum. It's just a different approach.

It just turns out that the human and the atmosphere are more important than the rest.

I cannot say what is right and what is not, I really cannot say. But emotionally, I was on a cloud of happiness. Just because it might be different.

I just understand: after every Sunday, when there are a lot of people, conservation professionals reconstruct our exhibit casts.

Someone wants to break off the tail - and breaks it off. A piece of the tail of our beautiful horse or a piece of an angel's wing... Someone will surely break something! Despite the fact that everyone is watching so that they do not fly too much into it. But if this does not happen, everything will be gnawed after every Sunday!

This is such a story. But all the same, we are fighting with ourselves and trying to reduce this distance of inadmissibility, because exclusion from the museum is very bad. But this cannot happen right away.

And this is a nightmare of the director of the museum - that this can happen, that the painting can be damaged, which happens in museum practice. This has also happened with our colleagues and in our practice.

Irina Alexandrovna (Antonova - editor's note "NI"), her terrible story, her nightmare was like a thing is being stolen - a thing from the exposition was stolen. At the time when the museum was opened, it happened a very, very long time ago, she remembered and told it, and this is a museum reality, a phenomenal story that has become a myth, accidentally noticed that a small thing was stolen during a working day, to Irina Alexandrovna about it said.

And she did a very quick systemic act. All entrances and exits were blocked: everyone leaving the museum was searched. Which, perhaps, was even illegal. The police were called, of course, but this was done even before the police. And this man who was the kidnapper - and in the end it was never found out who it was - he threw this thing, put it on the sly near the stairs. It doesn't even matter who it was, but it is important that he realized that he couldn't take this thing out of the museum".

You can listen to the full conversation with Marina Loshak here.