once a shrine to leninhis birthplace city
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today

Seeks a new identity

Once a shrine to Lenin,his birthplace city

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Once a shrine to Lenin,his birthplace city

Crowds are sparse these days
Ulyanovsk,Russia - Arab News

Crowds are sparse these days at the world’s biggest Lenin museum in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk, which has fences round it to protect visitors after several massive panels dropped off its facade.
A giant topiary sign still spells “Lenin” near the white stone box of the Lenin Memorial Museum on the bank of the Volga River, but the former Soviet leader’s home city is in search of a new identity 100 years after the October Revolution.
The city of Simbirsk 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow, where Lenin was born and lived until he was 17, was renamed Ulyanovsk in his honor after his death in 1924.
It became a favorite for tour groups of Lenin lovers from socialist countries.
To communists, Lenin is still the best thing to happen to Ulyanovsk, and local 68-year-old communist activist Yevgeny Lytyakov says the city owes its growth and status to the fact that Lenin was born there.
“Before the revolution, Simbirsk was a nondescript little town,” he said.
But Lenin no longer resonates in the same way and there are now only a handful of visitors at the city’s showpiece museums.
“We call Ulyanovsk Lenin’s motherland, but all the same, the young generation has moved on,” admits Yelena Bespalova, head of research at the Lenin Motherland Reserve, the city’s second biggest Lenin museum.
In the red-carpeted halls of the Lenin Memorial Museum, which covers some 4,000 square meters, exhibits range from Lenin’s death mask to a giant map of the Soviet Union that lights up glowing red.
Contemporary touches include a huge photograph of President Vladimir Putin, who visited in 2002.
“Today practically the biggest (Lenin) museum that is left is ours, in his motherland,” says former director Valery Perfilov, 70, who still works there.
The museum was once lavishly funded by the Communist Party and had around 5,000 visitors a day, but after the breakup of the USSR “it all suddenly collapsed,” he recalls.
“We were left without any funding.”
“If in the Soviet period, Lenin was idolized, deified, in the 1990s he was demonized.”
Today the museum is financed by the regional culture ministry and the current director Lidiya Larina says the complex, including a concert hall, has half a million visitors a year, but admits it is “outdated.”
It is due for a makeover ahead of Lenin’s 150th birthday in 2020 according to Larina, who wants to bring in interactive displays as well as a better shop and cafe.
The museum is also shifting its focus from Lenin as a political figure to his childhood in Ulyanovsk, Larina said, as Lenin’s role as an ideologue in the Soviet era is now generally downplayed by officials.
A plaque on Lenin’s former school calls him “Vladimir Ulyanov, the head of the government of Soviet Russia and the USSR from 1917 to 1923.”
“There’s a certain number of people in power who according to their views would happily raze the whole memory of the October Revolution and Lenin,” complains communist Lytyakov.
“But society won’t let this happen.”
The Lenin Motherland Reserve museum, which has federal funding, has a different aim — to immerse visitors in the atmosphere of Simbirsk in Lenin’s day.
It is an open-air museum of colorful painted wooden buildings in the neighborhood where Lenin lived in various houses — his family moved constantly — including a fire station and a corner shop.
“The mission of our organization is to preserve this corner of old Simbirsk,” says deputy development director Oksana Solovei.
The complex has more than 200,000 visitors a year, mostly locals, she says.
“Unfortunately we don’t have as many foreign tourists as in the Soviet period.”
The museum also gives a darker picture, with an exhibition on 1917 documenting looting and robberies by freed criminals and ex-soldiers.
“It was very dangerous even to walk on the streets. In 1917 the curfew started at 6 pm,” says Bespalova.
The city markets its Lenin links as part of a “Red Circuit” for Chinese tourists to visit Soviet sites around Russia.
The city is also looking to other famous natives, including 19th-century novelist Ivan Goncharov, and to possibly end Lenin’s domination over its image.
Two 26-year-old designers from Ulyanovsk have created a range of funky postcards, magnets and mugs presenting what they call an “alternative view” of the city.
One postcard has the slogan “Ulyanovsk — motherland of talents” and cartoons of 20 figures including Goncharov — but Lenin is conspicuously absent, and the women say this is no accident.
“We have nothing against him — Vladimir Ilyich,” said designer Nataliya Chebarkova.
“But it’s nice to tell people that Ulyanovsk isn’t just Lenin and the USSR


Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

once a shrine to leninhis birthplace city once a shrine to leninhis birthplace city

GMT 08:01 2013 Wednesday ,20 February

Microsoft switches Hotmail accounts to Outlook.com

GMT 13:32 2013 Sunday ,08 September

China frees dissident convicted on Yahoo evidence

GMT 06:30 2015 Thursday ,24 December

Gazans celebrate Christmas

GMT 21:09 2016 Sunday ,23 October

Mahlab inspects new Assiut barrage project

GMT 16:29 2011 Monday ,14 November

KEDO to demand USD 1.89 billion from N. Korea

GMT 16:22 2011 Tuesday ,17 May

Quake-hit Japan cancels Copa America plans

GMT 15:15 2016 Wednesday ,24 August

Deal puts Microsoft apps on Lenovo phones

GMT 15:48 2013 Wednesday ,28 August

Kashmir separatists demand scrapping of Mehta concert

GMT 04:32 2016 Saturday ,29 October

Cassette tapes fast-forward to new following in Asia

GMT 17:01 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

'The Shape of Water' leads Oscar nominations with 13

GMT 11:30 2017 Monday ,09 January

McDonald's sells China operations for $2.08 bn

GMT 07:13 2018 Wednesday ,10 January

French kosher store burns down on attack anniversary

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,27 July

Egypt FM talks Libyan crisis in Paris

GMT 07:29 2012 Monday ,02 January

KT set to launch much-awaited LTE service

GMT 13:48 2011 Thursday ,22 September

World\'s first hybrid car is brought back to life

GMT 11:59 2016 Wednesday ,09 November

Mexicans, peso thunderstruck by Trump win

GMT 07:38 2017 Tuesday ,22 August

Egypt's prime minister lauds work of media

GMT 09:19 2015 Tuesday ,06 January

Comet probe 'may revive in March'

GMT 08:32 2014 Thursday ,28 August

Kuwaiti FM to depart to Jeddah on Saturday

GMT 01:29 2013 Tuesday ,19 February

Tharwat demands: Brotherhood out!

GMT 09:26 2017 Monday ,27 November

Dolly the cloned sheep was not old before her time

GMT 08:45 2017 Sunday ,29 October

Controversy-battered Uber hires

GMT 11:18 2017 Thursday ,20 July

Malaysian Divers Fail To Secure Medal
 Egypt Today Facebook,egypt today facebook  Egypt Today Twitter,egypt today twitter Egypt Today Rss,egypt today rss  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
egypttoday, Egypttoday, Egypttoday