Author Topic: Alexander Palace Restoration  (Read 165361 times)

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TheAce1918

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2007, 08:21:50 PM »
I am one of the people talking about it. Once we have the information, it will be posted here, don't worry!
I have become obsessed with this place. I'm saving what little money I can to go over there and see it before it crumbles into dust.


I know what you mean.  It would be awful that such grand places are in danger.  I have hopes though, if several ancient ruins can stand time, then so can the palaces!  I can only dream about these places, visiting them is not even remotley close to possible at the moment.  :'( 
I always have stressed the importance of heritage...and in this case not just Russian/European heritage...but human heritage as well.   

Offline BobG

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2007, 07:08:34 AM »
Tsarskoe Selo

Private person donated $1 million on the restoration of the Quarenghi interiors in the Alexander palace.



Does this mean that Nicholas and Alexander's changes (the Maple room & the New Study) will be restored to the Concert Hall?
It seems a shame to destroy the history of the most important residents of the palace.  Their "lifestye" is probably far more important historically than the Quarenghi interiors.

BobG

I posted this in another thread where I learned of the generous donation.  Does anyone have more details on Vladimir's "restoration of the Quarenghi interiors" and what this means?

Bob G

Offline Venois

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2007, 02:58:48 AM »
It is also being said that some day soon (very soon probably) the Military ministry will give the keys of the Palace as well as Kitchen building to the museum. That's true that this $1 million will be spent on restoration of the "Classical Quarenghi  interiors".

It is also worthy to note that usually Russian cultural officials try to restore interiors to their "golden age" version. It is also true that there is no much Quarenghi interiors in St. Petersburg.

Anyway it's a good news.


Venois.
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Offline Vassili_Vorontsoff

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2007, 07:37:06 AM »
Prince Youssoupov would probably be blessed with joy at the hearing of this news,in his memories it underlines the fact he hates the new changes of Alexandra Feodorovna...

Personally,I'm in two minds,this is interesting artistically speaking to recreat it and if it could gather atttention on the palace it would be half the battle...if they could recreate the art nouveau interiors of Alexandra I think it would be great too,it could give the impression that nothing have chnaged from the revolution,that the palace is still a place of life...not only a museum ...anyway, it 's a good news to me!

So,I think that the blue boudoir would be bring to a new life,quite interesting!

Would the billiard room restored,too?All of theses are not news pics ,it's extracted from the forum.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2007, 07:38:46 AM by Vassili_Vorontsoff »

Offline Joanna

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2007, 09:07:09 PM »
Details of the donation by S. Chigrinsky of the New Holland Company. The restoration of the AP will be of the period c1796.

http://www.restate.ru/news/25298.html

Joanna

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2007, 01:30:04 PM »
I'm very glad to read the restoration will be going forward. Still, as Vassili has mentioned, I'd like to see at least a few of the rooms restored to the way they looked when Nicholas, Alexandra and the children occupied them. I realize Alexandra's decorating style was (and is) scorned by many; still, the reason so many people have wanted to visit the Alexander Palace in recent years is due to that palace's last Romanov residents.

It is a thorny decision. I am a docent at an historic house in Southern California--yes, there are a few places that have escaped demolition in our area!--and while we focus on the property's most famous resident, we also tell the stories of the original homesteaders and of the family who occupied the property in the years before it was acquired by the county.

Offline Douglas

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2007, 03:25:02 PM »
The new restoration will be of the period 1796?!

Just another way for the Russian government to pretend that the last Romanov Emperor did not exist.

Douglas

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2007, 04:40:23 PM »
PRECISELY, Douglas.   It is the life story of the Alexander Palace which is of interest to the majority of people.  The Alexander Palace evolved through each generation - a major part of its appeal.

This is why I find it impossible to jump up and down with joy at this news.   I can imagine what the rooms will look like.   In actual fact they would be better to leave them as they are - take down the partition walls and clean the place up.   That would be fine.   The Quarenghi Rooms (with the exception of the Concert Hall, of course) remain remarkably intact.   

The most important thing to be done is to secure the fabric of the building.   My fear is this will be skimped in order to 'renovate' (there is little or no understanding of restoration) the Quarenghi rooms which will probably only ever form soul-less exhibition space.   

If they want to attract world attention, they could begin the internal restoration with the Childrens' Rooms.   These were simply adorned and furnished and could be easily replicated.

But no.   I fear life will never be breathed into the Alexander Palace again.   Its nothing more than a cynical attempt to tart up this masterpiece to play a minor role in the tercentenary celebrations of Tsarskoe Selo

tsaria

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2007, 05:50:12 PM »
Since very few original artifacts from the AP have survived, I am afraid it will never be the same... I would almost prefer that they just cleaned it up/fixed it up and left it alone. Because "restoring" it will take away the remnants of authenticity it still has... I have very mixed feelings about this "restoration"... I think what they may end up with is a Disney World version of a structure that once was and its history...  :(

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2007, 05:51:39 PM »
I love it--"tarting it up"!  ;D

It seems as if they'll bring in a truckload or two of antique furniture. But the Hermitage and other museums and palaces feature this type of thing by the mile. In the case of the Alexander Palace it's the story of the people that compells most people to visit. And as a visitor I would want to know about the beginnings of the palace, its generations of inhabitants, and then what happened to the palace and grounds after the revolution . . . how it morphed into a museum, survived (just barely) German occupation, and so forth. But the importance of Nicholas, Alexandra, and especially their children cannot be underestimated. The world needs to continue to build rather than destroy, and what better symbolizes life renewing itself than children? Remembering the stories of the five sheltered but ultimately doomed Romanov children is a powerful reminder that repression, terrorism, revolution and war are not the answers. 

Offline Douglas

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2007, 08:25:25 PM »
Tsaria, Janet and Helen A.:

I like all of your ideas.  The best thing to do is to at least restore what remains.  The exterior, the rest of the roof and grounds are in need of some serious repair.   Yes, take down the partition walls and repair the flooring.

Janet's idea of restoring the childrens rooms is  a wonderful idea.  But I wonder if even that is beyond the cold calculating eye of the official Russian mentality about the 'past'.

There are tons of old paintings in storage that they could fill the whole palace in a day. 

The palace is truely haunted by it's past.

Douglas

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2007, 04:20:26 AM »
The Alexander Palace is the SUM of its parts - from the day Quarenghi first put pencil to paper, to the day Catherine the Great greeted her grandson on the steps of the colonnade with bread and salt to the present day occupation by Russian Armed Forces - believe me there are some characters who have 'worked' there for over thirty years.

As to contents - most of those dating from the Nicholas II period were either destroyed or sold off around the world.   Would present-day owners be prepared to return these to their rightful home?   If I had something, I most certainly would do so.   I would feel privileged.   There should be a worldwide appeal - to the US in particular.

However, the real problem is much more local.   The known whereabouts of the former contents of the Alexander Palace, are within a radius of less than 20 miles of the place.   They are hidden away at Pavlovsk, the Hermitage, the Ethniographic Musem, Gatchina, Peterhof - the childrens' toys are at Zagorsk.   Now, wouldn't that be a good start for the Childrens' Rooms.  It is easy to locate the childrens' books and drawings in private ownership in the UK.   It requires little imagination - but none of THEM are prepared to give up the smallest artefact.   There is a huge problem with curators who regard objects in their care - not as items they hold in trust - but as their own possessions.   

About seven years ago, the World Monuments Fund (British Branch) donated 10,000 to TSM to enable them to draw up a list of contents of the Alexander Palace at the time of the removal of the last Imperial Family to Tobolsk.   Believe me, every single item was recorded - the contents of every drawer and every cupboard.   The ledgers alone are daunting - massive bound volumes.   Unfortunatley this seems to have been little more than a 'paper' exercise.   For the last few years there has been ongoing cataloguing as part of a restitution programme.   Trying to be positive, either, or both, of these may yet yield fruit.

The problem is that so much 'imagination' will be employed, the character will be 'restored' out of the palace and its inexplicable beauty and mystery will be lost forever.   

You know, I would almost prefer it would just fall down.   To my mind it would be prefeable to let it remain a memory rather, than, as Helen writes, be given a brand new life as some grotesque, Disneyesque money-trap.

tsaria

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2007, 04:30:47 AM »
The more I think of what is likely to become of the Alexander Palace, the angrier I am getting.

Bob has devoted his life working towards a sympathetic restoration of this irreplaceable building.   For seventeen years, I have been endeavouring to do the same thing.   In Russia both of us have been regarded as crazy because of this shared passion.   I fear we have failed, but at least we have tried - in our own ways - to maintain pressure and heighten awareness of the plight of the Alexander Palace.   

Sadly, we both can envisage exactly what will happen.

tsaria


Offline Vassili_Vorontsoff

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2007, 11:39:16 AM »
Tsaria,

My lacking english don't able me to say everything I would like to express but I would say that the restoration is the beginning of a recognition,evereything is not lost who would think in the 7oies during the soviet area that Kolomenskoye's palace would be reconstructed however it is incredibly what would happen,things and mentalities change and could change for the Alexander palace!

Since very few original artifacts from the AP have survived, I am afraid it will never be the same... I would almost prefer that they just cleaned it up/fixed it up and left it alone. Because "restoring" it will take away the remnants of authenticity it still has... I have very mixed feelings about this "restoration"... I think what they may end up with is a Disney World version of a structure that once was and its history...  :(
Helen,
There is always a fear in a restoration to create a fake but the argument of Disney world is a bit "irritating",in  the case of the "Grand Versailles"(300 millions euros )project in France it was always used ,for the Hohenzollern palac in Berlin,for the Tuileries project...and for any reconstruction it must be said!If you take the case of the Catherine palace precisely ,the actual state is a "mix"between the 19th century state and the 18th ones .Moreover,in the throne hall the fresco of the ceiling was placed there by restorators whereas it has never been put there before .Nobody asserts that the Catherine palace was a sham version of the old palace.
Anyway,the interiors are mostly lost so everything has to be reconstructed!One may wonder in what style and shape.

I hope that Russians would come to the awareness of what of their remainings imperial treasures they are on the verge to lost.

Offline koloagirl

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Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2007, 02:28:48 PM »
 :)

Aloha all!

Just to put my feelings down about this (and they are just that, my selfish feelings about this wonderful place) --- when I first saw this thread I was so thrilled -- "restoration" of the Alexander Palace -- it sounds so wonderful and is such welcome news after seeing such sad pictures of the current state of the Palace.

But as I read along, I became more dismayed -- I too think of the Alexander Palace as directly tied to the last Romanovs who lived there -- pictures of the children growing up there come to mind and happy times (as well as sad) that they all spent.  To "restore" it back to the 1796 period would destroy all vestiges of the last Romanovs IMO -- I too would rather see it very simply "restored" back to Nicholas II's time -- even without furniture and all the other embellishments.  I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I'd rather see it fall apart eventually rather than see it tarted up -- it is after all a National treasure and it would be just one more tragedy to see it crumble into dust.

Sadly as with all things, politics enters into it and it seems that the "sharing" of what remains of the furnishings, etc. is just not possible given the current attitudes. 

How very sad.


Janet R.