Imperial set of dishes produced in 20 years and other news of Tsarskoye Selo

Director of Tsarskoe selo museum O. Taratynova. Photo: press-service of Tsarskoe selo

2016 marked for Tsarskoye Selo with a very important event – new additions in collection, the long-awaited opening of the Arsenal and the completion of the restoration of the Marble bridge in the Catherine Park.

Museum-reserve “Tsarskoe Selo” is the 3rd most visited tourist attraction of Russia upon the first half of 2016. It is a large complex that includes the Catherine and Alexander palaces and parks, the Military chamber of the Arsenal. Tsarskoye Selo keeps the memories of many persons of Russia, including Pushkin, Catherine I, Peter the Great and Nicholas II. Here is situated the rebuilt Amber room, known for its dramatic story of the disappearance during the great Patriotic War.

Park pavilion Arsenal is one of the first museums in Russia, built in 1819. It is located in the Alexander Park of Tsarskoye Selo, thus its restoration, according to the Director of “Tsarskoe Selo” O. Taratynova, “became a powerful impetus to the transformation of the whole of the Alexander Park, the restoration of which is in process.”

Marble bridge in the Catherine Park, several years being in disrepair, was restored and became available for walks.

“Tsarskoye Selo” replenished the collection of porcelain at Bonhams in London with a small plate and cornice from the Raphael service. The painting on the plate and cornice is based on the Raphael Loggias in the Vatican, copied upon the orders of Catherine II for the Hermitage.

«E-Vesti» addressed to the Director of the Tsarskoye Selo Olga Taratynova in order to learn how became possible the implementation of these measures and some further details.

E-Vesti: Olga Vladislavovna, please tell me how You managed to do such an extensive restoration of the Arsenal, and the Marble bridge, have you received any assistance from the authorities and patrons?

Olga Taratynova: The cost of repair and restoration work in the pavilion of the Arsenal, including project documentation, amounted to 305 million RUR; all funds were allocated from the Federal budget. The creation of the exhibition was possible with a help of funds earned by the Museum, and donations from benefactors. Marble bridge was restored for own extra-budgetary funds.

EV: As I remember, in Tsarskoye Selo unmatched cooking utensils are stored. How great is your collection of sets and what is the place took by Raphael set?

Olga Taratynova: Collection of porcelain and glassware of the state Museum “Tsarskoe Selo” has more than 4500 items and includes items of Russian, European and far Eastern production of the XVII–XX centuries. In the collection are works as historically associated with the Imperial residence and its owners, and acquired after 1917.

Collection of items from the Raphael service is a landmark event for the Museum. The Raphael service was performed at the Imperial porcelain factory especially for Tsarskoye Selo on the order of Emperor Alexander III. The master began work in 1883, a project of the ensemble was developed under the leadership of the head of the painting workshop of the factory Leonard Schaufelberger. Every year, as manufacturing service, new products were presented to the emperors in the number of gifts for Christmas. Work on the set took 20 years. In 1903, the ensemble of 50 persons was ready and was kept in service storerooms of the Imperial palaces, and Palace administration. A year later he was transferred to the Anichkov Palace at the disposal of the Empress Maria Feodorovna.

EV: How is the restoration of the Alexander Park and how long will it last?

Olga Taratynova: Systematic restoration of the Alexander Park is a long-term project: the Park covers more than 200 hectares, there are 14 landscaped areas. At the moment, Park in the center of the pavilions of the “Arsenal” and “White tower” is put in order, as well as works in curtain Ozerki, near the Chapelle pavilion.

EV: How active in 2016 was Your cooperation with the Hermitage and other museums of Russia and the world?

Olga Taratynova: Museum-reserve “Tsarskoe Selo” is actively cooperating with other museums in the framework of the exhibition work. This year the items from the collection participated in several exhibitions: “the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo and the Romanovs” at the Museum “Tsaritsyno”, “Ivan Aivazovsky. The 200th anniversary of the birth” in the State Tretyakov gallery and the State Russian Museum, “Georg Christoph Groot and the Elizabethan time” at the State Russian Museum, “August the owners of Gatchina” Museum-reserve “Gatchina”.