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January 9, 2022 09:02 am

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Cultural institutions actively developed their online direction and attracted new Internet visitors.

The coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments to the life of the capital’s cultural institutions. They had to reformat their work and start spending more time on the online format. Meanwhile, the city actively supported the organizers of cultural activities, providing financial assistance. For example, in the first half of 2021 alone, Moscow museums received more than 400 million rubles from the budget to cover life-support costs. These funds, among other things, allowed organizations to maintain jobs during quarantine and continue scientific activities.

Representatives of two Moscow museums spoke about how they managed to cope with difficulties and adapt to the new reality, as well as plans for the near future.

Reach growth and new projects

The Museum of Moscow made its main online transition back in 2020.


Thanks to online events, the institution’s social media coverage has almost doubled: in 2021, about a million people followed the museum’s events on its official Facebook and Instagram pages.

“The total number of views of the museum’s pages on its own resources and on the resources of partners has also increased – if in 2020 we were watched and read by about six million people, then in 2021 the figure approached seven million. Along with the growth of coverage, the scale of our partner online projects has also increased. As part of one of them, in 2020 we recorded city tours for the YouTube channel, and in 2021 we released a film in one of the online cinemas dedicated to the heritage of VKHUTEMAS (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops), ”Anna Trapkova shared.

According to her, despite all the difficulties associated with the pandemic, the museum continued to conduct scientific and fundraising work.

“Of course, extra-budgetary income decreased – we could not hold mass events. However, thanks to the support of the Moscow Department of Culture, we keep both the number of jobs and the level of salaries at the same level as before the coronavirus pandemic, “Anna Trapkova said.

The museum also received funds for planned renovations. With the support of the Moscow Department of Culture in the summer of 2021, the institution began to cooperate with the Praktika Theater. Two museum premises – the auditorium in the third building and the entire second building – have been converted into modern theater spaces. Several performances have already premiered here.

The plans are to open the main exposition in the third building of the museum, where the exhibition “The History of Moscow for Children and Adults” is currently running, which ends at the beginning of the 18th century. The new exposition will show the entire history of the city: from the moment of its foundation to the 20th century. The opening is scheduled for the end of the first half of 2022. And already today, visitors can see the exhibition “Take away the stuffed fox” – about the history of the formation of Soviet local history museums. It is open until March 20. Also, everyone can visit the exhibition “Moscow: Designing the Future”. The exposition, which acquaints viewers with the iconic ideas and objects of the city, will run until May 14.

Baby boom and online popularity

The Moscow Zoo also faced significant challenges during the pandemic. For the first time in its history, it was closed to visitors.


Employees quickly restructured their work: lectures, educational programs, excursions, animal observations and exhibitions were adapted into an online format. This allowed the zoo to retain its audience and continue its dialogue with visitors.

“We were able to set up our production of plot videos with stories about zootechnical work, about animals as such and other aspects of the institution’s activities. And now the number of views of video materials exceeds the number of real visitors by more than 10 times. In particular, we have established a partnership with the media center of the Moscow Department of Transport. The zoo participates in the formation of a news feed broadcast on monitors in the cars of the Moscow metro and ground transport, ”said Svetlana Akulova.

The quarantine period brought good news to the zoo: during the absence of visitors, many animals brought offspring. Cubs appeared in many of the zoo’s inhabitants listed in the Red Book – Amur tigers, bush dogs, Przewalski’s horses, wolverines, Humboldt penguins, flamingos, black storks, horned ravens.

And the scientific department continued research aimed at improving the welfare of animals in captivity. Using their unique experience of isolation, the staff began to study the effect of quarantine on the behavior of their charges.

As for financial assistance from the Moscow Government, these funds were used to reimburse the lost income of the zoo, as well as to pay salaries to employees, purchase feed for animals, maintain property and the territory of the institution. Speaking about the plans of the zoo for the near future, Svetlana Akulova noted a new exposition of poisonous snakes, which will open on the old territory. And besides, the zoo will be replenished with new inhabitants – soon wild donkeys, kianga and poitou donkeys, cheetahs, walruses, sea lions and sea hare will settle here. A new entrance through the Barrikadnaya metro station, a pedestrian bridge and the Pinnipedia pavilion are also being commissioned.

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

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