Tribute to eternal glory to open under dome

The new building of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War History will become, perhaps, the most important place to open its doors in Minsk this year
By Natalia Semenova

Already today it is obvious that it will be a really majestic construction. Beams, the symbol of military salutes, draw attention from afar. What interesting things will the museum contain? A virtual excursion was held by the Director of the Museum, Major-General in the reserve, Nikolai Skobelev.

Let’s begin with a question that war veterans immediately asked at once, after they heard about the construction of the new museum. ‘Will its size decrease or not?’ The management confidently answers: ‘No!’ The total area will be about 15 thousand square metres. In comparison, it is approximately the same size as the Palace of the Republic. Certainly, only part of the area will be allocated for exhibition as the functioning of such an establishment is impossible without auxiliary services. However, it is possible to say with confidence that the area of constant exposition will be about twenty percent more than in the old building. It means that the number of represented exhibits will increase too.

The opinions of veterans were taken into consideration during the design of the new exposition. They, more than anyone, stand for the fact that the memory of war should not die away. The desinhers also drew on the experience of the leading museums of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Slovakia and Poland.

The authors of the project, led by the laureate of the State Award of Belarus, Victor Kramarenko, foresaw the so-called dramatic concept of the museum. Its separate areas will embody various stages and aspects of war. Thus, visitors ‘will gradually live’ those events from the first till the last day. Four monumental blocks of halls are already constructed with each of them symbolising difficult years of war. At the same time all blocks will merge in a single composition, which will be crowned by a dome, 22 metres in diameter. All the halls will be located around its radius and will be directed towards the obelisk. Between them there will be space through which it will be possible to see the monument. It is made intentionally so that each visitor psychologically feels the Victory.

Nikolai Skobelev places emphasis on a unique exposition Road of War. It is the largest hall, the area of more than one thousand square metres, where two dozen units of military equipment and heavy armament will be located. These will include self-propelled mounting, anti-aircraft and artillery guns, a field-kitchen, mine throwers, etc. Undoubtedly, a German T-3 tank, the hull of which is original, may be considered the pride of the museum.

One exposition will acquaint people with guerrilla movement. People will have possibility to walk through woodlands and Belarusian villages, to drop in on a camp and see how our liberators lived.

It is impossible for today’s modern museum to operate without technical support. New technologies will help visitors to perceive the events of war more emotionally. Modern audio and video devices ‘will play’ sounds, noise and music, whilst documentary shots and reference materials will be shown. Text information will be found at special info-terminals.

The concept of an updated museum has been spoken about for a long time. In just six months, we will see the much needed Museum of the Great Patriotic War History with our own eyes.
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