From the 1950s to the present day: historical inscriptions were found on the walls of the VDNKh Public Education pavilion

April 30

Three decorative inscriptions were found under a layer of plaster in VDNKh Public Education pavilion No.2. These are unique elements of the pavilion interior decor of the mid-XX century. The inscriptions are dedicated to the agriculture. These are two quotes from the resolution of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, as well as the dictum of Joseph Stalin. The letters were carved on the walls of the side and central halls of the pavilion above the door portals, and they were covered with gilt.

One of the inscriptions reads: "Now all the necessary conditions have been created for widespread application of modern technology, for the achievements of Soviet agronomical science and the rich experience of the agriculture foremost workers and innovators." The text of another inscription: "Large-scale socialist agricultural production armed with modern technology can be developed successfully only under the condition of daily qualified leadership." These quotations - without indicating the specific authorship, are excerpts from the resolution of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Initially, the text was framed with bas-reliefs depicting flags, coat of arms, as well as collective farmers and socialist youth (silhouettes of young man and woman). To this day, this decor has not been preserved.

In the third inscription, the author is indicated - this is a saying of Joseph Stalin. It reads: "We now have the largest in the world mechanized and provided with new equipment production in the form of a comprehensive system of collective and state farms."

Experts took samples of the paint that letters were covered with and determined its composition. It was an imitation of gilding. Currently, work is underway to select the optimal restoration technology. All the letters will be restored in accordance with the historical decoration of the pavilion. Archive documents and photos will help us do this. A cartouche (a decorative imitation of a scroll) containing a quotation from Stalin will also be restored.

Experts have carefully cleaned all three inscriptions from old layers of plaster and paint. It was a painstaking work because they were faced with the task of not damaging the historical decor and preserving the integrity of the text.

Now in the Public Education pavilion No.2 a large-scale restoration takes place. The greenhouse has already been put in order. There, in particular, they restored the historical floor of white and light gray marble tiles, recreated the lost glazing, covered metal structures with anti-corrosion compounds and painted the wall adjacent to the southern hall.

In the southern and central halls, as well as in the side parts of the pavilion, the specialists clean the metal sashes framing the windows from layers of old paint and plaster. After the work is completed, they will be painted. In this case, the tint will be selected in accordance with the original one.

Windows and doors are restored with the preservation of the historical appearance, the interiors color is selected in accordance with the restoration project and the details that are found during the work. In addition, the marble floor is being cleared, as well as the floor made of breccia (rock consisting of debris).

The Public Education pavilion No. 2 was built in 1954 by the architect Stefan Polupanov. It is a white building in the Stalin Empire style with an additional colonnade facade and a tracery arcade on the roof. It was decorated by the sculptor Alexey Teneta and the artist Dmitry Shukhvostov. Initially, the pavilion was called North Caucasus, and its exposition demonstrated the agricultural achievements of this region. At different times, the representative office of the Republic of Georgia, the USSR Museum and the Butterfly House were located here.

The found inscriptions are by far not a solitary one discoveries made by the specialists during the repair and restoration work in the pavilions of the VDNKh. In total, more than two dozen valuable historical finds were found. Among the most significant finds there are glass blocks (Stalinites) in one of the basements of Nature Protection pavilion No.62, the Union republics coats of arms that were hidden under the dome in Space pavilion No.34, the Kazakh SSR agricultural bas-reliefs of 1954 on the Republic of Kazakhstan pavilion No.11 facade.

VDNKh is a unique public space with more than 80 years of history. Today, the exhibition unites 49 sites of cultural heritage, and its total area exceeds 325 hectares.


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