New work format, records and rare paths: 2020 at VDNKh

January 20
Tourism and travels

In 2020, the management of VDNKh chose a new approach towards implementing cultural and educational events. The country’s main exhibition and people working there quickly adapted to the new environment and launched online programmes. Come the close of 2020 over 18 million people had already watched them. During the summer months, the exhibition centre presented an online guidebook on fountains, and in the autumn one dedicated to restored VDNKh landmarks.

“The online format of work allowed everyone to become acquainted with famous pavilions and to take part in the exhibition’s cultural and educational projects. Online lectures and workshops of the Tekhnograd educational complex, the Cosmonautics and Aviation and Slovo (Word) centres were highly popular. And, of course, we continued to improve the territory and to restore the exhibition’s architectural landmarks in line with scientific concepts,” said Deputy Moscow Mayor Natalia Sergunina.

Online projects

The exhibition’s large-scale educational online programme was launched on 31 March 2020 and continues to this day. The programme involves the Cosmonautics and Aviation Centre, the Slovo (Word) Centre of Slavic Scripture, the VDNKh Museum, the Worker and Collective Farm Woman Pavilion, Tekhnograd and other popular venues. Children and adults can watch lectures and workshops, performances, guided tours and other events on the official website’s VDNKh online section, as well as on social media network accounts of the exhibition and its partners.

In October 2020, users were mostly interested in the online programme of the exhibition’s World Space Week. Over 560,000 people watched online events.

The VDNKh awards website that was also unveiled last year contains data on famous scientists, cosmonauts, aircraft designers, nuclear physicists, farmers and agricultural workers and industrialists who had received VDNKh awards for significant achievements and advanced inventions. The website now contains documents dating back to between 1939 and 1991, including almost 11,500 award citations mentioning about 63,000 organisations and over one million people.

New paths and online guided tours

In April, VDNKh launched an online project in the run-up to the International Day for Monuments and Sites. It provides an insight into unique sculptures decorating the exhibition’s pavilions. Users can watch historical images from VDNKh archives and modern quad-copter photos of local rooftops. Each photo’s caption shows the sculptures’ designation and what they symbolise.

During the summer, the exhibition’s specialists prepared their first guidebook on local fountains. It includes such city symbols as the Friendship among Nations, Stone Flower and Golden Wheatear fountains, as well as the exhibition’s smaller and less well known fountains.

People during the summer months could plan live VDNKh tours in line with their preferences. Three new themed routes made it possible to enjoy alleys full in bloom and the Landscape Park, to see all architectural masterpieces and to choose the best photo spots. The main national exhibition’s managers prepared a special project called VDNKh Guided Tours prior to the New Year holiday season. Here new winter routes were listed, as well as the most popular general and themed tours.

Other innovations include an online guidebook on restored VDNKh landmarks, launched in October 2020. The online guidebook contains photos of restored architectural landmarks, historical facts on each landmark and also restoration data.

The Antarctic Winter at VDNKh season that started on 27 November marks the 200th anniversary of discovering Antarctica by Russian seafarers Faddei Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. As usual, a skating rink opened on the Main Alley. Due to the current pandemic, the skating rink’s officials started selling tickets on the exhibition’s website, so as to avoid queues at the ticket offices. Skaters should keep social distancing and wear face masks and gloves. The VDNKh skating rink will be open until 28 February 2021.

Improving the territory

The city continued to improve the territory of VDNKh throughout 2020. 808,500 plants, mostly flowers, by mid-June could be seen there and during the summer months over 1.3 million flowers bloomed at VDNKh, an all-time high.

Several landscape compositions were unveiled prior to the summer season. Flowerbeds were created near the Optics and Flower-Growing and Greening pavilions. The layout of the flowerbeds called Large Field Picture also changed, with perennials and shrubs replacing annuals.

In July, the exhibition received two new art objects prior to Family, Love and Fidelity Day. The Birds composition by French artist Cedric Le Borgne is located near the entrance to the Elevated Nature Trail. It is possible to see a kinetic sculpture called Armadillo by American artist Anthony Howe near Pavilion No. 38. Both art objects were created especially for the VDNKh.

Three pairs of mute swans (Cygnus olor) became another summer hit. Houses on floating platforms were built for them at the exhibition’s Kamenskiye Ponds.

During the summer, electric buses, that will function all year round, started carrying passengers free of charge along the exhibition’s ring road. The bus stops are located on both sides of the Main Entrance Arch. Electric buses operate from 9 am to 9 pm, every 15 to20 minutes. Over a period of the past six months more than 165,000 visitors have taken advantage of them. Those who like privacy could hire eco-taxicabs during the warm season, up until 1 November 2020. It was possible to order these vehicles together with VDNKh guides for a preset time of two or three hours. Almost 20,000 visitors chose to try this out from 24 June to1 November.

VDNKh press service

In 2020, a renovated stadium opened for outdoor sports lovers in Ostankino Park. This is, one of the most popular facilities and meets all modern standards. People can play football or jog there all year round.

The city will continue to revive and improve VDNKh   throughout 2021. There are plans to open a multimedia park of the Soyuzmultiflm Animated Cartoons Studio and the Museum of the Federal Body Guards Service’s Special-Purpose Garage where limousines of top national leaders will be on display. The Centre of Russian National Equestrian Traditions, the Atom Pavilion and other museum/exhibition facilities will also be opening.


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