Monument unites ten countries

Virtual museum of Struve Geodetic Arc established in Golshany

A virtual museum of a unique site inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List being established in Golshany

Geodesic control point Tupishki of the world famous Struve Geodetic Arc is located not far from this town in Grodno region. The work by a team of geodesists that yielded the first accurate measurement of a meridian in the 20th century began in the early 19th century. Astronomer and surveyor Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, founder and first director of the Pulkovo observatory, directed the work. A chain of 265 survey triangulations running through ten countries was established along the meridian. The entire arc stretched over 2,820 kilometers, from Fuglenes in Norway to the mouth of the Danube River near Ishmael on the Black Sea coast.

The project was carried out with utmost precision -- modern satellite images have proved that. As time passed, the Struve Arc lost its value and for many years fell into oblivion. In the late 1990s Belarusian scientists attempted to find triangulations, but a five-year research did not yield any results as many of them plunged into the ground, were destroyed in the war or damaged during construction works. In 2001, an expedition led by Vladimir Mkrtchan, former director of Belaerokosmogeodeziya, associate professor of the National Technical University, opened anew 19 out of 31 points of the Arc located in the territory of Belarus. Tupishki was one of them.

At the beginning of the last year a virtual museum of this unique geodesic monument was started in Golshany’s rural library. Oshmyany executive committee that allocated 57 million rubles for the project from the regional budget and Strasbourg-based ALDA are major contributors in what will become an interesting museum.

In the course of the project implementation modern office equipment has been purchased, a draft version of the museum site has been designed, the premises have been renovated, glass showcasing and much of the relevant literature have been obtained, and promotional products have been printed. At the moment, the museum is being filled with exhibits and information. The museum site provides data on the arc triangulations in the countries where they have survived till present day and tells about these nations’ culture and traditions.

One of the most important exhibits is the UNESCO certificate that was awarded to Lilia Roghinskaya, the librarian and project manager, at the fifth meeting of the Struve Arc steering committee that took place in Golshany in July. It was attended by representatives of all the ten countries through whose territory the Struve Geodetic Arc stretched: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova.

Recently, an international seminar was held in Golshany where the museum founders reported what has been done from the beginning of the year. The efforts have been highly appraised.

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