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In 2009 Russia marks 200 years since the birth of Russian classic Nikolai Gogol. Russian publishers, theater figures and filmmakers are getting ready for the jubilee.
Gogol Museum Moscow -By Kerry Kubilius, About.com
Gogol Museum Commemorates Contentious Author:
Nikolai Gogol, a Ukrainian-born writer who wrote in Russian, is claimed by both Ukraine and Russia as a their own. Whatever country Gogol would have ultimately associated himself with, we do know that he spent time in Moscow, most notably his last months, during which he destroyed one of his manuscripts. The rooms in which Gogol passed his final hours have been turned into a museum.
Refurbishment of the Gogol Museum:
The Gogol Museum, or the Gogol House (Dom Gogolya), underwent refurbishment in honor of the 200th anniversary of Gogol's birthday on April 1, 2009. Visitors to the museum can see the fireplace in which Gogol threw his manuscript for Dead Souls, a clock which shows the hour Gogol destroyed the manuscript (3 o'clock in the morning), and the parlor in which Gogol entertained his contemporaries.
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Nikolai Gogol museum opens in Moscow
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - A museum devoted to Nikolai Gogol opened in Moscow on Friday in the building where the writer spent the last four years of his life.
The museum includes a mock fireplace in the parlor, where the writer burnt the second volume of his satirical novel Dead Souls hours before his death.
The clock on the mantle shows 3 a.m., the time when the novel is believed to have been destroyed. The published first volume of Dead Souls spotlighted the unseemly sides of the 19th-century Russia, while the second volume reputedly showed the good side of life.
In the parlor, frequented by many literary dignitaries during Gogol's lifetime, the writer also read his play The Inspector General, a violent satire of Russian provincial bureaucracy, to actors from the Maly Theater.
The decor was restored by museum creators based on the reminiscences of the writer's contemporaries, as few of Gogol's belongings have survived.
Exhibits in the six-room exposition feature a recently discovered original portrait of Gogol, as well as hand-written copies and printed editions of his writings.
The museum was unveiled ahead of the 200th anniversary, on April 1, of the Ukrainian-born Russian writer's birthday.
Gogol's other well-known works include satirical short stories Nose (1835-1836), which tells of an official whose nose leaves his face and lives its own life, and Overcoat (1842), a story of the life and death of an impoverished clerk extremely dedicated to his job.
Kremlin News - June 22, 2009, The Kremlin, Moscow
ALEXANDER GARDEN, MOSCOW.President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in memory of the sorrowful anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War.
Also taking part in the ceremony, commemorating the 68th anniversary of the start of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, were Chairman of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, President of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin, the heads of other ministries and agencies, veterans, and members of the public. President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin, currently visiting Russia, also took part in the ceremony.
The ceremony ended with a parade by troops from the Moscow Garrison representing the three branches of the Armed Forces.
Kremlin News - June 12, 2009, The Kremlin, Moscow
Speech at Reception Celebrating Day of Russia
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Dear friends,
I congratulate you on this state holiday – the Day of Russia. I wish all of you new successes, and I wish the same to us all, to our whole country.
This holiday we are celebrating is connected to events that were a turning point in our country’s recent history. It is connected to fundamental political and economic transformations, radical changes to our society’s spiritual life, and changes in our value system.
Back then, at the start of the 1990s, Russia’s people made their own choice. They chose an open and free country. But as we know, the road to democracy turned out to be difficult and full of contradictions. Today, we look back on the events of those years as history, but back then, when everything was still at the beginning, it was hard to foresee all that would happen.
As we gradually gathered experience we also came to realize that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand, and that building a new economy and consolidating democracy requires constant daily effort and a lot of hard work.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first parliamentary elections in our country when people had a real alternative to vote for. Those elections were a watershed in our people’s minds and laid the foundations for establishing new democratic procedures and modern development institutions. The deputies elected back then, in those elections went on to form a new generation of state and public figures in our country.
I think that today it is very important not just to remember but also to analyse thoroughly the events of those turning point years, value our achievements and the experience in state-building that we have built up, hopefully not repeat past mistakes, and never forget that Russia has a great history reaching far back through the centuries.
This alone is reason to feel pride in our country. But even more important is to build on our forebears’ achievements, be open to progress and new advances, and use them to ensure our country’s development in the decades ahead.
Today, we have to address a huge number of problems all at once, and despite the current difficulties, we have to continue our country’s wide-scale technological modernisation and make quality change to various areas of life. In order to achieve our goals, we need to do all we can to support those who produce the achievements of true leaders.
We have such people with us here today, purposeful, talented and energetic. They have just received the [Russian] National Awards. Their lives and work are an example of the highest civic spirit and service to our motherland, and form an invaluable capital for our whole country.
I congratulate you all once again on this holiday and I propose a toast: To the Russian people! To peace and harmony in our common home!
Happy Russia’s Day!
Obshestvo IRAS is the Intl Russian Literature & Art Division of the RHIO (PMOH) an NGO established June 2004 in Moscow - Russian Federation