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WRH Chair Presents at Circumpolar Museums Conference, Yakutia
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Monday, 07 September 2009 17:31
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misha_mus_thumbCulture of reindeer herders in museums of the World

WRH’s Board Chair Mikhail Pogodaev has addressed the opening of the exhibition “Circumpolar museums” in the Yakutian State Museum of History and Culture of Northern Peoples, which was held during the international UNESCO conference “Circumpolar civilization in museums of the world: yesterday, today, tomorrow”.

Held in Yakutsk and attended by more than 150 participants from 14 countries and 12 Russian regions. “Expansion of intercultural attitudes between Yakutia and other world”, was named by the Vice-president of Sakha Republic Evgeniya Mikhajlova during a meeting in the Hall of Republic of the Government House, and the President of Advisory committee of the International Council of museums (ICOM) Knut Wick made particular emphasis on the importance of cooperation for preservation and development of cultures.

In his speech Mikhail Pogodaev spoke about necessity of preservation of unique northern peoples’ culture which owing to their way of life have mastered huge spaces of the climatically harsh regions of the North. Perhaps, it would be not possible, if not for reindeer which gives people warmth, light and life. A reindeer for indigenous peoples is the basis of their existence, and in the material culture of northern peoples, a basic element is a reindeer. Pogodaev emphasized the necessity of the association of efforts of world museums on preservation and the protection of the traditional knowledge of reindeer herders.

As part of the conference, there was an exhibition “Circumpolar civilization in museums of Sakha Republic”, where collections from northern regional museums, such as the Anabarsky ethnographic museum, the Verkhoyansk museum “The Pole of the cold”, Zhigansky historical museum, the Momsky study of local lore museum, the Olekminsky historical museum of agriculture of Yakutia, the Oleneksky historical and ethnographic museum of Northern peoples, the Srednekolymsky local museum, the Ulakhan-Chistaysky museum of Even people history and culture, and the Even-Bytantaysky historical and ethnographic museum. The majority of exhibits of these museums are devoted to material culture of indigenous reindeer herders.

“Hellenes considered Apollo…” so began the speech by Ekaterina Selezneva, the President of the International Council of Russian Museums continuing : “The Polar North : 120 peoples and nations live here in the world, and this is one of achievements of this region”. “The atmosphere of tolerance inherent in Republic Sakha, is extremely important for multinational Russia” said Irina Smirnova, vice-chair of the Department of Cultural Heritage Arts in the Russian Ministry of Culture.

“This unique circumpolar culture plays a special role in terrestrial civilization, and is based on the harmonious interaction with nature, instead of on its conquest” noted the Vice-President of the Federation Council, chair of the National UNESCO committee Mikhail Nikolaev. “Our task is the creation of a common cultural space, the bridge between epochs and countries”.

The expression “Harmonious interaction” became the key for this conference: all participants spoke about the necessity of interaction and cooperation. The Vice-president of the State Assembly (lt Tumen) of the Sakha Republic, Alexander Zhirkov mentioned the richest collections of the material and spiritual cultures of the peoples of Yakutia from the end of the XVIII and beginning of the XX century, is stored in museums in New York, London, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Moscow and St.-Petersburg and has called art dealers of all the world to help with work on the project of a uniform catalogue of these historical and ethnographic exhibits which would be supervised by the government and parliament of Sakha Republic. The Director of the Yakut State Museum of History and Culture of Northern people, Egor Shishigin also made a number of offers on the carrying out of joint scientific expeditions on the acquisition of funds, the organization of training of restorers and the creation of an international committee on circumpolar civilization in museums of the world.

The meeting has come to the end with small press conference, on which Sakha republic vice-president Evgeniya Mikhajlova has noted: “Culture – is not only museums, libraries and theatres, but also a way of life”.

The holding of such a conference certainly promotes the integration of museums, expands and distributes knowledge about circumpolar culture, but also in many respects the vital topic of preservation of a cultural heritage of mankind promotes an establishment of close and friendly communications between museums and scientific institutes in a period of intense globalisation.


Source: http://www.gazetayakutia.ru/article.aspx?id=21971

Mikhail Pogodaev, Museums, Sakha (Yakutia), WRH Activities
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