First Norilsk museum created in barrack
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First Norilsk museum created in barrack

May 19, 2021

The first Norilsk Museum was opened on October 1, 1939. It is this date that is considered the modern historical institution’s birthday.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. At that time, by order of the combine’s head Avraamy Zavenyagin, a geological museum was opened: “for the purpose of a more complete study of the Norilsk deposits, preservation of materials on the geology of Norilsk and the popularization of geological knowledge”. It was called the Museum of Ore and Non-Metallic Minerals and Building Materials of the Norilsk District, and the first exposition was located in the basement of a barrack on Zavodskaya street.

The first director was Klavdia Rodionova, the wife of a well-known exiled Norilsk doctor Vladimir Rodionov.

After the war, in November 1947, the museum received a new development and new premises – in a cottage on Ozernaya street. In 1960, it moved to a new building – the House of Technology at 12 Komsomolskaya street.

By that time, unique collections had already been created: a zoological one – more than a hundred stuffed northern animals and birds, a geological one, rare books, documents, photographs, manuscripts.

In 1965, the museum was liquidated, and barbarously – the expositions were lost, sold or thrown away. Why they did that is a mystery.

In November 1970, the order to re-establish the history and industry museum at the House of Technology was issued. The exposition was reassembled, for which all heads of enterprises were obliged to provide the necessary materials.

In 1985, the museum moved to the new building at 47 Leninsky prospekt. Together with it, the First House of Norilsk moved from the Zero Point. And finally, since May 2000, the Museum of the History of the Exploration and Development of the Norilsk Industrial District (now the Museum of Norilsk) has been located in the former building of the Lenin cinema.

The main Norilsk museum has got many ‘younger brothers’. For example, the Museum of the History and Development of the Norilsk Railway or school museums, presenting collections of various topics – from local history and ethnography to the history of the Great Patriotic War and space exploration.

For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the Norilsk combine, go to the History spot section.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

May 19, 2021

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