Precious gift being donated

Museum of Gomel History given unique collection
By Nikolay Danov

Recently, the Museum of Gomel History hosted an extraordinary collection of around 100 cameras and photographic equipment, including rare and precious exhibits such as the legendary ‘leika’ (as mentioned in the Song of a War Correspondent).

Famous Gomel photographer Leonid Pinsky donated the items to mark the 870th anniversary of his native city. He tells us that he began work as a photographer’s apprentice at 16, in 1968, and has been involved in the profession ever since, becoming an acknowledged specialist. The many visitors to the museum will also be able to view some of his photographs, which capture bright landscape scenes and moments from city holidays, alongside portraits of both well-known and anonymous (yet no less interesting) urbanites, taken over the years. The launch of the exhibition saw Mr. Pinsky having his own photo taken by colleagues and journalists. 

Mr. Pinsky’s unique collection was gathered over several dozen years, with many of his cameras having been well used in his work. His donation is thought to be worth around Br20m. He admits, “We survived the difficult time of ‘perestroika’ when everything, including such rarities, was taken to Poland for sale. I resisted this urge, continuing my collection. However, I’m no longer young and have no desire to hoard this ‘wealth’ in a basement or attic. Let people see, and experience surprise and nostalgia.”

According to the Director of the Museum of Gomel History, Yulia Kupreeva, the exhibits are enough to open a museum of photography in the city over the River Sozh. An appropriate building is being sought, with the museum hoping to realise its goal next year.
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