First Norilsk residents’ ashes urns buried at Zero Point
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First Norilsk residents’ ashes urns buried at Zero Point

July 06, 2020

In 1985, in Leningrad, the Urvantsevs died. The mournful event happened when the centennial anniversary of the Norilsk combine was celebrated.

To this date, the memorial complex In the Name of the Discoverers and First Builders was constructed at the Zero Point (the city starting point) in the Old Town. It included the First House of Norilsk, built by the Urvantsev’s expedition in 1921, and the House of Zavenyagin. The buildings were connected by a brick gallery, which housed the Norilsk diorama. Here, on July 6, the urns with the Urvantsevs’ ashes were buried in the wall niche.

For more than half a century, from time to time Nikolay and Elizaveta Urvantsevs came from Leningrad to their home on Gornaya Street, which became a museum in the late 1970s. The first Norilsk residents bequeathed to bury them next to it. The descendants fulfilled their will.

Four days after the ceremony, on July 10, the memorial complex was also inaugurated. And again there were speeches, flowers. Ekaterina Sukhanova, the combine’s chief geologist and the Lenin Prize laureate for the discovery of Talnakh, spoke on behalf of all geologists.

The memorial complex did not stand the test of permafrost. Five years later, the Zavenyagin’s House was dismantled, the first house was moved to the museum on 47 Leninsky prospect. In 1993, on Nikolay Urvantsev’s 100th anniversary, the urns with the first Norilsk residents’ ashes were reburied on the Golikovo cemetery.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

July 06, 2020

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