MELNIKOV HOUSE RECENT NEWS
Info / Photos / News Archive / Documents
Today, Viktor Melnikov would have turned 100:
This is a MUST READ: http://snob.ru/profile/16181/blog/85165
My involvement with the Melnikov House started back in 2012, when the neighboring buildings on Arbat Street were knocked down in August, I met Ekaterina for the first time at the non-fiction book fair in November, and in December of 2012 got to visit the house for the first time. Over the last 2 years, I got to know the situation with the house from first-hand experience and documented the events that surrounded the house. Things abruptly changed with the infamous events of August 13, which was the last time I was in the house. Since then I have continued documenting the unfolding absurd situation, trying to make sense of it all.
The key to a lot of what’s been going on was what happened before my involvement with the Melnikov House, and I’m very thankful that Marina has provided such an insightful account of these events and details. Not to mention the enlightening conversation between her and Gordeev last night.
PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT OPENING THE HOUSE-STUDIO OF K. MELNIKOV FOR VISITATION
Organizer: Schusev Museum of Architecture
Location: Schusev Museum of Architecture
At the end of the press conference will be a brief survey press tour of the Melnikov House.
December 2 at 11:00 in Enfilade of the main building of the Museum of Architecture, press conference participants will talk about the development plans for the State Museum of Konstantin and Victor Melnikov and the main exhibit – the experimental home-studio of Konstantin Melnikov on Krivoarbatsky alley.
The press conference will be attended by:
– Alexander Kibovsky, Minister of Moscow Government, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the City of Moscow;
– Irina Korobina, director of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture;
– Pavel Kuznetsov, Director of the State Museum of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov;
– Elizabeth Likhacheva, deputy director of the State Museum of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov;
– Elena Melnikova, curator of the memorial exhibition of the State Museum of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov.
The event is organized ONLY for the media, attended by provisional accreditation
The press conference very clearly excludes Ekaterina Karinskaya from the discussion about the future of the Melnikov House. On the other hand, it’s quite obvious that discussion, let alone any sort of “working together” between Ekaterina and the Museum of Architecture, has been rendered impossible due to the events of the last 3 1/2 months (as can be concluded from the posts below). It’s a pity that a moderator was not brought into the equation as requested in the open letter published back in September, just at the beginning of all this controversy. Instead, with heavy-handed force and bullying of Ekaterina in her own home, she was driven out, while Museum staff celebrated their great step forward in creating the museum that her father wanted.
So by all actions of the Museum of Architecture, are we to understand that the executor of Viktor’s will, granddaughter of K. Melnikov, owner of 1/8 the inheritance – Ekaterina Karinskaya – will not be involved in the future of the house, after 18 years of guarding her family’s legacy? Completely shut out, while her sister is made curator of the Melnikov’s Museum?
This section of the open letter is worth emphasizing:
We believe that based on the Melnikov House a state museum should open according to V.K. Melnikov’s will, however, without a doubt, no museum can be established on the basis of legally dubious actions, direct force, as well as haste. The plans of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture include the speedy opening of the house to visitors (in November 2014*), although this cannot be done until a scientific restoration is carried out. Without restoration the house can be lost in a short time; such a position of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture is contrary to the main purpose of the Melnikovs Museum – the preservation of a unique building.
*At the time of the letter’s publication in mid September, November was the desired opening of the house to the public. It was later pushed back to 2015 as reported by Izvestia on October 1, but on October 21 Izvestia reported the official opening will be on December 3.
The article “December 3 Melnikov House opens to the public. History of events.” concludes with,
It would seem that Melnikov’s dream is close to becoming a reality, but at what cost?
It would also seem that after all the controversy of the past 3 1/2 months, the aggressive takeover and forced museumification of the house, and the hasty and premature (before serious restoration works are completed) opening of the house to the public on December 3 signals the end of the “Melnikov House”. It would seem that the Melnikov House now has been transformed into what more fittingly can be called the Museum House. But at what cost?
Starting with November 20, registration was opened for tours of the Melnikov House. Tuesday through Saturday, a tour for a group of 5 people per day will be organized in the Melnikov House. Tickets will be assigned with the names of the ticket buyers, and tickets will need to be purchased at the Museum of Architecture on Vozdvizhenka St. More info here. (All tickets for December and January have been claimed already).
(like August 13, part 2)
More photos from October 17 HERE
It has now been 2 months since the takeover of the Melnikov House by the Museum of Architecture (MUAR) on August 13.
9:02pm, August 13, 2014
The open letter published on September 16 called for the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky and the Presidential Advisor on Culture Vladimir Tolstoy to:
1) Suspend any activities in the Melnikov House, except for urgent measures for the conservation of the monument; remove the private security. Evaluate from a legal point of view the actions of the Schusev Museum of Architecture and all parties of the conflict, and make appropriate staffing decisions.
2) Assemble a conciliation commission with the participation of lawyers representing the parties of the conflict and museum experts to work out a compromise plan for a phased creation of the Museum of K.S. and V.K. Melnikov.
3) Create an Expert Council, which should include experts on twentieth century architecture, restorers, museum experts and designers, who will evaluate the concept of the museum and will be able to make adjustments to it based on the recent developments.
In addition to the 67 initial signatories, over 120 people added their names in support of the letter in the MELNIKOV HOUSE: OPEN LETTER group on Facebook.
On September 18 a second open letter signed by 14 signatories was published as a response to the first letter, and in defense of the Museum of Architecture’s recent actions (since the August 13 incident). While there are many who are still confused about what is going at the Melnikov House, the publication of the second letter on Colta.ru made it very clear that the cultural community of Moscow has been strongly polarized into opposing groups of “architects, art experts, and representatives of the museum community” and an “other group of art experts, historians of architecture, members of the professional architecture and museum community”.
When a situation as controversial as what was sparked on August 13 develops, with a building as significant as the Melnikov House, and then two letters with conflicting content are published, you would think the recipients of these letters would be compelled to do something, respond somehow. To date, two months after the seizure of the Melnikov House by the Museum of Architecture, and nearly one month after the publication of the first letter, from Medinsky and Tolstoy:
there has been NO response, NO acknowledgement that the controversial situation at the Melnikov House is a concern.
In addition, after numerous appeals to the police and their promises to establish and guarantee visitation rights for guests (including Ekaterina’s relatives), the private security guards (with signed contracts with MUAR and Elena Melnikova – Ekaterina’s sister) are still not permitting anyone in to visit Ekaterina at the house, with the sole exception of Ekaterina’s lawyer and doctors. So on the one hand, Ekaterina may not receive any visitors, not even her husband, and on the other hand MUAR can lead tours of the house to anyone they choose, and MUAR staff and numerous security personnel are free to come and go.
Since August 13, two official replies have been received: One dated September 5, 2014 from the Ministry of Culture which does not bring up anything new, and concludes by stating, “At the same time we inform you that with regard to the events at the Melnikov House on August 13, 2014, the parties concerned sent statements to law enforcement agencies for the purposes of inspection and clarification of all the circumstances of the case.”; and the second is a reply from the prosecutor’s office dated September 22, 2014 which states “On 13.08.2014 the Museum of Architecture Commission started work on an inventory of museum property in the Melnikov House.” So while both documents are official replies, they don’t answer many questions.
If one can acknowledge any “progress” since August 13, then:
1. Оne can now talk to Ekaterina more or less freely and openly, unlike in the first couple of weeks where the guards would be very present and discourage any interaction (including passing along statements to be delivered on Ekaterina’s behalf).
2. As reported by Izvestia, the Museum of Architecture has come to the conclusion “that due to the volume of work, the opening of the Melnikov House to visitors will be postponed to 2015.” A major concern of the first open letter, was that the haste with which the Museum of Architecture was working to open the House to visitors as soon as possible (as early as November), would be damaging to the House.
In the two months since the tumultuous night of August 13 when MUAR seized the House, there has been one glaring problem in the midst of all the recent developments: there is a complete lack of action on the part of the authorities to step in and moderate the situation. Instead of cooperation between all involved parties, we have a unilateral approach that has proven to be controversial.
In the meantime, a sign misleadingly reads “The State Melnikovs Museum” on the fence of the Melnikov House and all recent actions by the Museum of Architecture treat the House as just that, already a museum. By calling the House a museum does not make it a museum, even though all parties of the conflict want exactly that – that the Melnikov House become a museum open to the public. Currently, the Melnikov House at 10 Krivoarbskiy Lane is NOT the Melnikovs Museum, but rather an exponent of this future museum. Currently, the Melnikov House is a residential house in the midst of a complicated legal battle that still has not been resolved.
“BEWARE OF DOG” sign has been moved. Now it hangs farther away from “The State Melnikovs Museum” sign
guard dogs are still on the Melnikov House territory: one in the backyard (pictured) & one by the front fence
Photos of signs from: August 15 / August 25 / August 30 / Sept 30
During a lecture about Konstantin Melnikov, the topic of the current situation surrounding the Melnikov House is bound to come up, and so it did at the end of this lecture. In summarizing recent events, the speaker repeatedly called them “interesting” so as not to get into details but only to allude to the well-known fact that there are many that question the Museum of Architecture’s recent actions regarding the Melnikov House. At this point, staff from the Museum of Architecture began yelling “not true” from the back of the audience, and accusing the speaker of lying. After continuous interruptions, the speaker insisted on finishing, but assured that the Museum of Architecture could also have a turn to explain their position after he was finished. When he finished, Elena Melnikova came up to the front and told her version of the events. When she was finished, the Museum of Architecture’s deputy director of the State Museum of Konstanin and Viktor Melnikov also had a chance to express the Museum’s view.
Ekaterina Karinskaya also had a chance to speak during which “not true” continued to be shouted out from the back of the audience by Museum of Architecture staff as she proceeded to explain her side of the story.
So while open dialogue is desperately needed and it is understandable to want to defend your position, the manner and venue in which this spontaneous debate between the opposing sides occurred was probably a surprise for the audience who was probably not up to date on all the details of the current situation.
The Museum of Architecture also wrote a letter to Medinsky and Tolstoy in response to the open letter published earlier in the week.
“Another open letter” – colta.ru published both letters
http://www.colta.ru/news/4711 vs http://www.colta.ru/articles/art/4652
“Архитекторы, искусствоведы и представители музейного сообщества” vs “другая группа искусствоведов, историков архитектуры, членов профессионального архитектурного и музейного сообщества”
“Architects, art experts, and representatives of the museum community” vs “other group of art experts, historians of architecture, members of the professional architecture and museum community”
It is a strange situation, to say the least, when the professional community is so polarized. Considering that the conflict surrounding the Melnikov House is anything by straightforward, and taking into account the international significance of the Melnikov House and the legacy of the Melnikovs, this conflict desperately needs a moderator. In theory, the police should be a neutral moderator. However, they have proven to be indifferent and unresponsive to numerous appeals (written about various issues) since August 13. So it turns out that the private security guards hired by the Museum of Architecture have more authority than the police. A moderator is desperately needed because BOTH sides need to be included in the process of establishing the Melnikovs Museum. While it is clear that a considerable portion of the professional community in Moscow has serious concerns about the recent events involving the Melnikov House and the Museum of Architecture’s methods, the Museum of Architecture is continuing with their work full steam ahead without any sort of accountability. In the meantime, this situation is eagerly waiting for a response from the Minister of Culture to the open letters.
Architects, art historians and museum staff have written an open letter in which they call on the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky and the Presidential Advisor on Culture Vladimir Tolstoy to intervene in the situation that has developed around the Melnikov House.
The open letter can be signed by simply making a post in the open Facebook group ДОМ МЕЛЬНИКОВА: ОТКРЫТОЕ ПИСЬМО with your name and profession.
Talking to Ekaterina continues to be supervised, this time by security not in uniform.
Finally! No trash on the porch – either someone finally figured out on their own that it doesn’t look good to have trash lying around, or someone’s been reading “Recent News” here. Either way, nice to see a trash-free porch.
More unpleasant news appeared on Facebook today: Museum of Architecture staff have been writing unbecoming comments on social media sites, in addition to the unfortunate recent events at the house itself (see posts of recent events below).
Text of the Facebook post:
“#домнаш – радуются сотрудники МУАРа, проводя опись дома Мельникова, который
– еще не выведен из жилого фонда,
– права на который у МУАРа еще нет (половина не передана государству!), и, наконец,
– в Постановлении о создании которого в качестве адреса прописана улица Воздвиженка, а вовсе не Кривоарбатский переулок!
“А дальше – “может убить бабулю? или в дурку?” – советуют юморные друзья сотрудников МУАРа по поводу внучки Мельникова Каринской, исполнительницы завещания. Но сотрудники еще сомневаются. наверное,все-таки (пока?) не стоит. Ждут, когда она сама.
В то время как сотрудники МУАРа как бы проводят опись имущества, которое им не принадлежит по-прежнему – ну то есть роются в чужих вещах, и вешают в Инстаграм “себяшечки” в интерьерах дома, происходит следующее:
а) дежурят круглосуточно 2 ЧОПа. И 2 собаки в будках во дворе. ЧОПовцам дано указание каждые 15-30 минут обходить дом и вламываться с “осмотром” в комнату Екатерине Викторовне, внучке Мельникова. Каждые 15-30 минут. Зачем?
б) Затем. У Екатерины Викторовны уже было несколько приступов. Скорую вызывали несколько раз, в последний раз (в четверг) скорую пропустили. а вот участкового врача пускают через раз, по настроению.
в) На всякий случай у Екатерины Викторовны отключен городской телефон. И на всякий случай телефонного мастера не пускают уже недели две
г) Никого не пускают (кроме юриста). Вчера в очередной раз не пустили мужа. Продукты все эти дни передают через забор
д) Замдиректора мифического музея Мельникова, Елизавета Лихачева приходила сегодня в дом, и сказала Каринской следующее: “Собирайте вещи. Я вас предупредила”.
Так и вижу: замдиректора при исполнении, в галифе и с кобурой, сапогом открывающую дверь дома в 5 утра. Каринская, на выход.
Пока они пишут #домнаш , пока это убийственное, беспрецедентное хамство в отношении исполнительницы завещания Мельникова не прекратится, музея архитектуры в моей системе координат больше не будет.
Нет выставок, нет архива, нет коллекции (впрочем, она и так практически не разобрана и в ужасном состоянии), нет лекций, никакого сотрудничества. Убеждена, что так стоит поступить всем – возможно, общее осуждение этих отвратительных действий и полная изоляция музея архитектуры немного приведет их в чувство. Наш круг очень, очень узок и эта позиция будет весьма ощутимой.”
MAPS statement regarding the recent events at the Melnikov House is especially relevant now:
Ekaterina’s husband came to visit, the security guards would not let him. Their reason was that her husband is “not on the list”. Allowed in are only people on a list approved by the Museum of Architecture. There is no list of people who can come visit Ekaterina.
This is how conversations are supervised at the Melnikov House.
Ekaterina had called the police to challenge the security guard’s decision to prohibit Ekaterina’s husband from entering. After a bit of waiting, an officer showed up to look into the matter.
Additional guards arrived (Stark security). One of the security guards who lives at the house 24/7 spoke with the guards, filling them in to what was going on.
In the meantime, Ekaterina’s husband went to the store and brought her back groceries. This was the second time he had attempted to visit Ekaterina at the house (previously on August 30), and again he was turned away.
Notice that there are now 5 bags of trash on the porch.
Удалось раздобыть приказ о создании музея Виктора и Константина Мельниковых. Исходя из приказа Министерства культуры действия МУАР по захвату жилого дома не имеют законных оснований. Адрес новообразованного филиала Музея – Воздвиженка, 5/25.
Жилой дом по адресу Кривоарбатский, дом 10 незаконно назван Музеем, о чем было составлено обращение в прокуратуру.
Managed to get the Order on the establishment of the Viktor and Konstantin Melnikov museum. Based on the Order of the Ministry of Culture, Museum of Architecture’s actions to seize a residential house [Melnikov House] do not have legal grounds. Address of the newly formed branch of the Museum of Architecture – 5/25 Vozdvizhyenka.
The residential building at 10 Krivoarbatsky [Melnikov House] has been illegally designated as a Museum – this is what was included in the appeal to the prosecutor.
I stopped by the House at 3pm today, hoping to have a word with Ekaterina. When I arrived, she said she wasn’t feeling well and had called an ambulance, and wouldn’t be able to go outside to talk to me. I told her that then I’d wait until the paramedics arrived, make sure she was ok, and wouldn’t leave until the paramedics left (to make sure she didn’t need any help if it was something really serious). So I did just that: sat on a planter in front of the house, and waited. After some time, one of the security guards saw me, and made a phone call. I heard him say the word “devushka” (girl) – I’m assuming he called his boss to see what to do about me just sitting there. When he got off the phone, he walked outside of the fence to where I was on the sidewalk and asked what I was doing. I told him Ekaterina said she was not feeling well, had called the paramedics, and now I was waiting for them to arrive, and that I wanted to make sure she was ok. He told me that I couldn’t be there, and “please leave and then later you can come back.” I replied that I’m going to wait there. Then one of the men from the night before, the security not in uniform, came up to us and asked what was going on. I repeated why I was there, and he said ok that’s fine, while the other security guard continued to say why I can’t be there. After some whispering between these two men, the security guard continued to question why I was there. Then he accused me that I had something to do with Ekaterina falling ill when I arrived. Then all the security went back inside the house territory, including the two not in uniform from the night before.
Questions: what are these security guards providing security for? What are they protecting? (Now they are going to shoo away people from looking at the House too long?) And again, who is paying for all this?
The paramedics arrived, were let in, and stayed for some time. When they left, I asked them if Ekaterina was ok, if she needed anything? They said her blood pressure had jumped, she had been given a strong injection, and would not be able to stand up for 3 hours. High blood pressure is not surprising considering the circumstances: the stress of a “house-arrest” type of situation and the constant bullying on part of the security guards. Not only are there the two that are living inside the house 24 hours a day (and can’t find time to take out the trash, last I checked there were 4 trash bags that they keep on the porch of the house and no one thinks to throw out), but constantly there are other security guards, the head of the security, and Museum of Architecture staff that are coming in and out of the house. There is a list of people who can come to the house. There is no such list for Ekaterina – no one can come to see Ekaterina. Not her husband, not anyone from her family, her doctor was denied entry once (and allowed in on a second attempt), the telephone repairman is not allowed in (and the land line is still out of service). Her lawyer was allowed in the other night, and today the paramedics, so at least there’s that. By all observations, this is a very strange way to conduct museum affairs. Not only is Ekaterina being excluded from all steps in creating the Melnikovs museum, but she is being bullied and harassed in her own home. Which brings up the issue of the House’s status: it is currently still registered as “жилой” (residential). This then raises questions of the legality of the Museum of Architecture’s takeover of the house, the posting of security guards on the territory, and so on. An appeal on the legal grounds of the Museum of Architecture’s recent actions was sent to the district prosecutor’s office – unfortunately, the reply takes up to a month.
I showed up at the House around 9pm to speak with Ekaterina. She told me about the day’s events: the head of the security guards had stopped by during the day and gave the orders to not close the doors and every 15-30 mins do a walk-through of Ekaterina’s room. This is not only a breach of privacy, but also a method of intimidation (I can’t fathom how this is justified as a security measure). Upon hearing these overreaching orders, Ekaterina called the police to intervene – the first call was made around 3:30pm. She called several times during the day but no policeman was sent to investigate the situation. When I arrived at the House at 9pm, Ekaterina asked if I could walk over to the police station and inquire if they were planning on sending someone soon. So I walked over to the station that is next door, literally 2 mins away, and asked if they could please send an officer to investigate the issue, and perhaps because there were no other pressing matters, or because someone came inquiring on behalf of Ekaterina, an officer agreed to go check out the situation.
When we arrived at the fence of the House, there were two men standing near the fence. Upon hearing that the police intended to go inside the house, one of the men stepped in and said “в дом никак” (you can’t go inside the house), to which the officer replied, she [Ekaterina] is inviting on her 1/8 of the House, “мы не к вам” (we’re not here to see you). Later it was revealed that these two who attempted to prevent the police from entering the House were also security, except not in uniform.
“House-studio of Konstantin Melnikov,1927-1929”
published in THE MODERNIST # 11: DOMESTIC,
“Since 1929 when the house was completed, it has attracted much attention and continues to draw curious visitors to its doorstep. To this day, the Melnikov House remains a family home. Konstantin Melnikov’s granddaughter, Ekaterina Karinskaya, currently lives there, fighting to ensure that the house is taken care of and becomes a proper museum as was wished by her family.” [this was written in early 2014]
New sign added today:
Photos from: August 15 / August 25 / August 30
Trash is on the front porch for the second day in a row. Is it really that hard, out of all the different people from the Museum or security guards that came and go as they please, to take out the trash?
Communicating with Ekaterina has been a problem. Previously, when I or others had approached the fence to have a word with Ekaterina, the security guards would express that this was not allowed and try to stop it. That being said, talking through the fence has proceeded; it’s just strange that the guards are on orders to discourage outside interaction with Ekaterina. In addition, the land line still does not work since going out of service after August 13. Repeated calls were made to the telephone repairman to come to the house, but he was not allowed since the Museum of Architecture (MUAR) has to approve it, and they are not allowing it. As the situation stands, MUAR is the sole entity deciding who and what comes in and out of the house.
When I stopped by the house today, Ekaterina said enough was enough – she wanted to be able to talk face to face, instead of through the fence like from a prison. After a bit of confrontation with the security guards, they give in and let us speak with the front gate open. However, the security guards supervised the entire conversation, standing by at a close distance the whole time.
I understand the security guards are “just doing their job” – but what exactly is their job?
To protect the house? – by following Ekaterina around and trying to thwart any outside interaction with her?
Considering MUAR’s allegations that Ekaterina’s living in the house is ruining it with daily use, now they have posted two security guards 24/7 who also now LIVE in the house.
Another curious point is the use of two dogs on the premises of the territory. What are they protecting?
Who is paying for all this “security”? The hiring of private security (not cheap!) seems like an odd item for a State Museum budget.
The only thing resulting from employing security guards and dogs in this situation is the creation of a hostile and intimidating environment, with all shots being called by MUAR. And this is “the first step in the creation of the Melnikovs Museum”?
Pictured are the MUAR staff in charge of the inventory. Later in the day, MUAR announced that they finished their inventory today and also posted their REPLY to the Docomomo statement published on August 28.
Docomomo Russia has published a statement regarding the Melnikov House situation. PDF version can be found HERE. Statement in English HERE.
After over 10 days of asking the Moscow City Telephone Network to send a repairmen to the House, the repairmen still did not show up for today’s appointment. It’s seems rather strange that the line which got disrupted right after the August 13 takeover is so hard to repair. Or is this just a bad coincidence? On the plus side, today the security guards let the doctor visit Ekaterina (on Saturday the doctor was not allowed in).
Ekaterina Karinskaya remains at the Melnikov House. Now there are two guards dogs on the territory, in addition to two private security guards who are living in the house. Occasionally, there is a car with more security guards outside the house. WHO is paying for private 24/7 security and 2 dogs, and WHY is this all even needed?
The house land line which inexplicably went out of service right after August 13, is STILL not fixed after repeated calls for a repairman from the Moscow City Telephone Network (МГТС) to come fix the line. Interaction through the front fence is discouraged by the security guards, though it is possible to have a quick work, hand over food, or get a signature on a statement. Ekaterina Karinskaya has already sent several statements to the police department (located next door) and still no response from the authorities. Meanwhile the Museum of Architecture is continuing to perform an inventory of the house.
The Ministry of Culture is staying silent regarding the situation.
The sign stating “Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov State Museum – Branch of the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture” has been removed from the front fence and replaced with “beware of dog”
RADIO INTERVIEW: “Melnikov House – or?”
guard dog #1
guard dog #2
Ekaterina asked me to bring some milk and a pastry today. Guards still don’t like Ekaterina to approach the gate, but they did open the gate door and took the bag with the milk and pastry to pass along to Ekaterina. As a thank you, I offered to take out the trash for them (there was a bag sitting on the porch). They handed me the trash and said thanks.
News agency MIR came to the Melnikov House in the morning to do a report. At first, the private security guards would not let the reporters into the house. With the arrival of a Museum of Architecture representative, they were allowed into the house and spent quite a bit of time inside. Afterwards they also recorded the Museum of Architecture’s position.
Security with dogs arrived and parked on the house territory. [why are guard dogs needed on the premises of the territory?]
MUAR representative speaking with the head of the hired private security.
“Девушка, здесь нельзя снимать” – сказал он / “Miss, you can’t photograph here” – he said [why not?]
Additional security posted across the street.
Two guard dogs, two dog handlers hanging out in the backyard (in addition to two other security guards inside the house), plus additional security across the street. [Who is paying for all this security? Is it really necessary?]
Here’s the MIR broadcast from their filming on August 21:
Now attention has been diverted to discussing the hostile environment created around the Melnikov House after the August 13 takeover by the Museum of Architecture. Creating a museum ASAP (to the detriment of the House itself) has been given priority, instead of FIRST carrying out a restoration & finally settling court disputes.
Here’s the MIR report from April 12, 2014 with a different focus: “Legendary Melnikov House is being destroyed by neighboring constructions”:
The Moscow Architecture Preservation Society published a message on August 21 as well:
On the morning of August 15, a short-notice press conference (scheduled for 2pm that day) hosted by the Museum of Architecture was announced. When a call was was made to Ekaterina asking if she would be going to the press conference, she said this was news to her, she had not been invited. During the press conference this issue was brought up and the Museum of Architecture representatives claimed that she had been invited. [That said, a place setting for Ekaterina was not present, not even symbolically to show an effort to include her in the discussion.]
In the press release, a look at the descriptions of the daughters of V. Melnikov, Elena and Ekaterina, points out a very open bias against Ekaterina:
Е.В. Мельникова – дочь В.К. Мельникова, 1945 г. р. Образование – высшее, закончила Московский инженерно-строительный институт по кафедре архитектуры. Куратор мемориальной экспозиции в Доме Мельникова, член комиссии по описи мемориального обстановочного комплекса Дома Мельникова.
Elena Melnikova – daughter of V. Melnikov, born in 1945. Education – higher, graduated from the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering in the Department of Architecture. Curator of the memorial exposition in the Melnikov House, member of the inventory commission of the memorial complex of the Melnikov House.
Е.В. Каринская – дочь В.К. Мельникова, 1941 г. р. Образование – высшее, закончила Московский энергетический институт. Незаконно проживает в Доме с момента смерти отца 5 февраля 2006 г.
Ekaterina Karinskaya – daughter of V. Melnikov, born in 1941. Education – higher, graduated from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. Illegally living in the house since her father died on February 5, 2006.
Stating that Ekaterina has been illegally living in the Melnikov House since her father’s death in 2006 is a false accusation and should not be presented as a fact in an official press release, because: 1. After the August 13 takeover of the Melnikov House and fresh accusations against the legality of Ekaterina’s residence in the House, on August 14, 2014 her legal right to live in the house was confirmed by the local authorities (If it wasn’t confirmed, then how could she still be staying in the house to date) 2. If Ekaterina has been illegally living in the house since 2006, and it’s now 2014, why has nothing been done about her supposed “illegal” residence in the house until now? 3. Ekaterina has been living in the house to take care of it until her father’s will is executed, and the house becomes part of the future Melnikov House Museum (the House itself is NOT the museum, it is an exhibition piece) By living in the house, the house has remained a private family home – since 1929 this has not changed, and is a unique case – something to respect. Instead, accusations are being published that Ekaterina has damaged the House with her living there since 2006.
Museum of Architecture has appointed Elena Melnikova as the curator of the future Melnikov Museum.
VIDEO of the press conference:
That morning I stopped by the Melnikov House to find that the Museum of Architecture had already “claimed their territory” by putting up a sign that read, “Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov State Museum – Branch of the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture.”
More photos & description of events: HERE.
VIDEO: How the events of August 13 unfolded
VIDEO: M24 news report (news crew that filmed on August 13): http://www.m24.ru/videos/58877?attempt=2
While Ekaterina Karinskaya and her relatives were not in Moscow, security guards seized the house. The relatives found out about what happened when they received a panicked phone call from Ekaterina’s husband who said upon returning to the house, he found the locks broken, and he was not being let in to the house. Because of previous health conditions, he had to go to the hospital and came to get his medical policy papers and some money which he asked for from the security guards who had taken over the house. He ended up leaving by ambulance. Ekaterina and her relatives came back to Moscow later that day, and they too at first were not allowed into the house by the security guards. The position of the Museum of Architecture is that Ekaterina has been living in the house illegally, and yesterday was the first step to open the house to a wider public.
More info: Захваченный дом