More about the monuments of the past

Letters about the good and the beautiful / D. Likhachev. - M .: Alpina Publisher, 2017.

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Let me begin this letter with some impressions.

Here is one of them. In September 1978, I was at the Borodino field, along with the most remarkable enthusiast of my work - the restorer Nikolai Ivanovich Ivanov. Did you pay attention to what dedicated people are found among restorers and museum workers? They cherish things, and things pay them with love. Things, monuments give their keepers love for themselves, affection, noble devotion to culture, and then taste and understanding of art, understanding of the past, and a heartfelt attraction to the people who created them. True love for people, for monuments or never remains unanswered. That is why people find each other, and the land groomed by people finds people who love it and itself responds in the same way.

It was such an internally rich man who was with me in the Borodino field: Nikolai Ivanovich. For fifteen years he did not go on vacation: he cannot rest outside the Borodino field. He lives a few days of the Battle of Borodino and the days that preceded the battle. Borodino field has enormous educational value.

I hate war, I suffered the Leningrad blockade, Nazi shelling of civilians from warm shelters, in positions on the Duderhof Heights, I witnessed the heroism with which the Soviet people defended their Homeland, with what incomprehensible resistance they resisted the enemy. Perhaps that is why the Battle of Borodino, which always amazed me with its moral force, acquired a new meaning for me. The Russian soldiers fought off eight of the fiercest attacks on the Rajewski battery, following one after the other with unheard of tenacity.

Towards the end, the soldiers of both armies fought in total darkness by touch. The moral strength of the Russians was multiplied by the need to protect Moscow. And Nikolay Ivanovich and I exposed our heads to the monuments to the heroes erected by grateful descendants on the Borodino field ...

In my youth I came to Moscow for the first time and inadvertently came upon the Church of the Assumption on Pokrovka (1696 - 1699). I knew nothing about her before. Meeting her stunned me. In front of me stood a frozen cloud of white and red lace. There was no “architectural masses”. Her lightness was such that all of her seemed like the embodiment of an unknown idea, a dream of something incredibly beautiful. It can not be imagined from the preserved photographs and drawings, it was necessary to see it surrounded by low everyday buildings. I lived under the impression of this meeting and later became involved in Old Russian culture precisely under the influence of the impulse I received then. On the initiative of A. V. Lunacharsky, the alley next to it was named after the name of its builder, serf peasant Potapovsky. But then people came and demolished the church. Now there is a wasteland at this place ...

Who are these people who destroy the living past - the past, which is also our present, because culture does not die? Sometimes it is the architects themselves - of those who really want to put their "creation" in a winning place and too lazy to think about something else. Sometimes they are completely random people, and we are all to blame for this. We must think that this does not happen again.

Monuments of culture belong to the people, and not only to our generation. We are responsible for them to our descendants. We will be in great demand in a hundred, and in two hundred years.

Historical cities inhabit not only those who live in them now. They are inhabited by great people of the past, the memory of which can not die. Pushkin and Dostoevsky were reflected in the canals of Leningrad with the characters of his “White Nights”.

The historical atmosphere of our cities can not be fixed with any photos, reproductions and models. This atmosphere can be revealed, emphasized by reconstructions, but it is possible and easy to destroy - to destroy without a trace. It is unrecoverable. We must preserve our past: it has the most effective educational value. It brings a sense of responsibility to the motherland. That's what Petrozavodsk architect V.P. Orfinsky, the author of many books on the folk architecture of Karelia, told me. On May 25, 1971, in the Medvezhegorsky District, a unique chapel of the beginning of the 17th century burned down in the village of Pelkula, a monument of architecture of national importance. And no one even began to clarify the circumstances of the case.

In 1975, another architectural monument of national importance burned down - the Ascension Church in the village of Tipinitsy, Medvezhiegorsk District, is one of the most interesting tent churches of the Russian North. The reason is lightning, but the true root cause is irresponsibility and negligence: the high-rise pillars of the Ascension Church and the bell tower interlocked with it did not have elementary lightning protection.

The tent of the XVIII century Christmas Church in the village of Bestuzheve, Ustyansky District of the Arkhangelsk Region, fell down - the most valuable monument of tent architecture, the last element of the ensemble, very precisely set in the bend of the Ustya River. The reason is utter neglect.

But a small fact in Belarus. In the village of Dostoevo, where the ancestors of Dostoevsky came from, there was a small church of the 18th century. She did not stand on state protection, but she was very typical of the Belarusian rural architecture of the XVIII century. Architect T. V. Gabrus with other specialists made measurements of this church. As soon as the architects left, the local authorities, in order to get rid of responsibility, fearing that the monument would be registered as protected, ordered to demolish the church with bulldozers. From it were only measurements and photos. It happened in 1976.

Such facts could gather a lot. What to do so that they do not recur? First of all, they should not be forgotten, pretending that they were not. There are not enough bans, instructions and boards with the indication “Protected by the state”. It is necessary that the facts of a hooligan or irresponsible attitude to the cultural heritage should be rigorously investigated in the courts and the guilty should be strictly punished. But this is not enough. It is absolutely necessary already in high school to study local history, engage in circles on the history and nature of your region. It is youth organizations that should first of all take charge of the history of their region. And finally, the most important thing is that in history teaching programs in secondary schools, it is necessary to provide lessons on local history.

Love for one's homeland is not something abstract; it is also love for your city, for your area, for the monuments of its culture, pride for its history. That is why the teaching of history in schools should be specific - on the monuments of history, culture, and the revolutionary past of their locality.

One cannot only call for patriotism, it needs to be carefully brought up - to cultivate love for one's native places, to cultivate spiritual serenity. And for all this it is necessary to develop the science of cultural ecology. Not only the natural environment, but also the cultural environment, the environment of cultural monuments and its impact on humans should be subjected to thorough scientific study.

There will be no roots in the native locality, in the native country - there will be a lot of people similar to the steppe plant, the tumbleweed.

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