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Read about the work of three such associations in the article.

There are more than 8.5 thousand cultural heritage sites in Moscow – unique monuments of history, culture and architecture. Along with the specialists of the capital Department of Cultural Heritagepublic organizations are involved in the professional study and care of monuments and works of monumental, fine and decorative-applied art. Their goal is not only to restore the historical appearance of objects, but also to draw attention to the restoration business and educate a new generation of craftsmen.

Russian Association of Restorers

Founded in 2004, the Russian Association of Restorers (RAP) now has dozens of restoration companies and design institutes across the country.


The members of the organization have implemented a large number of projects, their high skill is confirmed by the numerous awards of the Moscow Restoration competition.

Specialists from one of the companies, for example, received an award for the restoration of the Friendship of Peoples and Stone Flower fountains at VDNKh. The best restoration projects of another company were recognized as the chambers of the 17th century (Arkhangelsky lane, building 10, building 2) and the Zimin mansion (Degtyarny lane, building 8, building 3). Another team of restorers was awarded for the return of their historical appearance to 50 pieces of landscape gardening sculptures at the Kuskovo Estate Museum (Yunosti Street, 2) and 23 tombstones from the necropolis of the Donskoy Monastery of the 18th – 20th centuries. (Donskaya square, building 1).

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One of the important activities of the association is work on educating young people, preserving and strengthening the traditions of previous generations of restorers.

“In the 1990s, we had a big gap: our architects, restorers, designers are still alive – amazing specialists who are already over 70, and our middle level is very small, the continuity has been lost. Therefore, we now place great emphasis on working with educational institutions, with students, with young people, we have programs even for children, ”says Tatiana Chernyaeva.

For example, at meetings of the Let’s Save career guidance course, teenagers are told about production professions and specialties, such as an artist-restorer, an architect-restorer or a restorer-builder. To do this, the children are invited to classes that take place in restoration workshops and in specialized educational institutions.

Among other things, RAP supports the activities of volunteer movements in the field of preserving cultural heritage sites (including the work of the Volunteer Restoration Center in Moscow), participates in the development of school programs for volunteers.

Another project of the association – “Little Restorer” – is designed for children aged six to 11 years. They organize interesting classes and master classes, introduce them to city architectural monuments. According to Tatyana Chernyaeva, the results of this work are obvious.

“I see that our little restorers are becoming more interested in heritage, when they feel a sense of belonging, when they understand that they themselves can participate in its preservation, care, protect – by telling, for example, parents and friends why monuments should not be rubbed“ for good luck ”. Every year they participate in the preventive maintenance of the sculpture. And also, doing volunteer schools, I see people who, in their free time, want to help preserve monuments. When I ask what motivates them, many answer: the desire to be involved in something very important and valuable. Probably, this is genetically in us – a sense of self-preservation. It is not only about preserving life, but also about preserving our “cultural code”, our connection with the past and future, ”she says.

The cooperation of the association with foreign colleagues also bears fruit, thanks to which the position of the national restoration school in the international arena is being strengthened. Experience exchange takes place during exhibitions and conferences. The organization, in particular, holds thematic events within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum (PICF), as well as the international exhibition Denkmal. One of the last such events was a panel discussion within the framework of the Moscow International Film Festival “Theater and Heritage”, at which Russian, French and Italian architects talked about the restoration of theater buildings, including the example of the Moscow musical theater “Helikon-Opera”. Previously, round tables were held within the framework of the PMKF and Denkmal, dedicated to the repair and restoration of monumental houses, professional education and certification of restorers.

Union of restorers of Russia

The Union of Restorers of Russia makes a significant contribution to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Moscow. Thanks to the representatives of this community, the monuments, which are considered the hallmark of the city and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, have been transformed.


According to Vyacheslav Fatin, the mission of the organization is to unite specialists who can positively influence the situation in the field of preserving cultural heritage, and to popularize the restoration business.

“This is the most important thing – to unite restorers of all generations, not only experienced ones with great experience, but also young ones who will learn from experience, and in the future they will bear the main burden of restoring Moscow’s cultural heritage. Based on this, we are trying not only to popularize the restoration business, but also to promote its development in every possible way. In particular, we organize all sorts of events for young people – for example, visiting schools of restoration, where students from different regions go somewhere, or we invite them to Moscow and carry out the restoration of icons, paper, cultural heritage objects, show the main techniques, which in the future they will be useful in their work, ”he says.

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On the basis of the organization, there is a Coordination Center for Vocational Training. The Union of Restorers of Russia signed cooperation agreements with a number of specialized educational institutions, where training groups directed by the organization can acquire knowledge and skills for further work on the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage sites.

The Union of Restorers of Russia has twice become the operator of Denkmal, the largest international forum for the restoration and preservation of monuments, which traditionally brings together experts from different countries, promotes the exchange of experience and the establishment of professional contacts.

Interaction with foreign colleagues also takes place within the framework of restoration schools, where specialists can exchange knowledge and learn new technologies.

“The most methodologically similar practices are the Russian and Italian restoration schools. We have the closest cooperation with Italian specialists. As part of the joint restoration school, our teachers went to lecture in Italy, and the Italian, accordingly, gave lectures here, – says Vyacheslav Fatin. – Our colleagues are very interested in our wooden architecture. If we talk about Moscow, of course, everyone is interested in St. Basil’s Cathedral. We very often familiarize our European colleagues with domestic restoration technologies, and recently we have introduced them to the restoration of VDNKh. A tremendous work is being done there, colleagues know about it and try to get there without fail. We organize excursions, tell stories, show. All this is happening in close cooperation with the Department of Cultural Heritage. “

The organization also pays great attention to legislative activity: it participates in the development of projects related to restoration work, is engaged in the protection of the interests of organizations and individual specialists and the development of public-private partnerships in the field of restoration.

The head of the Union of Restorers of Russia notes that in recent years the situation with cultural heritage objects in Moscow has changed for the better. A large number of monuments have been restored, new objects have been taken under protection, and it is very important to continue this work.

“Cultural heritage is our history, our roots. We must preserve this and pass it on to future generations, otherwise we will have nothing left. If we are dismissive of this, then we will not have time to blink, as we will not have a single historical object, and at the same time our past, which we need to pass on to the future. Many of our facilities are global property, so we have a responsibility to our descendants, ”he concludes.

“Remember everything”

Another example of the successful participation of a public organization in the life of the city is the work of the Total Recall movement. The organization appeared in Moscow in 2012 – its first project was the restoration of the old signboard “Pharmacy” at 22 Malaya Bronnaya Street. They discovered it quite by accident during the renovation of the facade. The issue of permission for the restoration was resolved very quickly, and the necessary amount was raised. In the future, a team of like-minded people implemented 14 more projects, raising funds through crowdfunding.

As a result, the facade of house 1/2, building 1 in Pevcheskiy lane was decorated with a rare brick mark of the 1920s of one of the largest Soviet brick-making enterprises “MSNKh. Mossilicate “. And on the Garden Ring (Bolshaya Sukharevskaya Square, building 16/18), restored pre-revolutionary luxury windows were installed, originally invented to illuminate city basements.

The public movement “Total Recall” is primarily concerned with the search and restoration of historical signs. The restoration of one on average takes a month and a half, but specialists do not undertake all projects, but choose the most interesting ones.


It happens that on restored objects, traces of previous alterations or unsuccessful attempts to disguise them are specially left. This happened, for example, with the pair sign of the famous Porcelain House of the M.S. Kuznetsov on Myasnitskaya Street (building 8/2). After the revolution, letters covered with gold leaf, engraved on granite slabs, were covered with shields and then painted over. More than 100 years later, during the renovation of the building, they decided to plaster the letters and saw them off with a grinder. Having restored the signs, the specialists left these cuts intact.

A similar case was with the cast-iron pillar adjoining house 6 in Bryusov Lane. This is a part of the fence of an unpreserved manor house of the 18th century, during which time it was repainted several times – the restorers counted ten layers of paint. After the rust was removed from the pillar, the cracks were repaired and the interior was filled with expanded clay, the surface was covered with a protective layer of varnish, but paint layers were left in two places – in memory of the difficult fate of this architectural detail.

The main goal of the “Total Recall” movement is to preserve the history of old Moscow. For the approval of the restoration, specialists regularly contact the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage, and, according to Natalia Tarnavskaya, in most cases everything can be solved without any particular difficulties.

“Counteraction can arise where we set the task incorrectly, but we have already learned to understand what can and cannot be done. We do not come to the Department and do not say: “Let us do a restoration without a project.” Together with them, we come up with how we, relatively speaking, detail the work into small stages that require a more simplified coordination system. And this is their help – they do not force us to go to the one-stop shop and communicate there, not understanding who is talking to whom, but they look at the work we do, understand it and direct us to specific people who can answer our questions, ”she notes.

In the near future, experts plan to start restoring the inscription that crowns the building of the electrical substation on Prospekt Mira, built at the beginning of the last century.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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