Opening of the exhibition “The Flag of Russia over Saint-Petersburg”

The exhibition “The Flag of Russia over Saint-Petersburg” was opened in the museum and dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the return to Saint-Petersburg it`s historical name and the 30th anniversary of the acknowledgement of the tricolor as the national flag of Russia.

Most of the exhibits are on display for the first time. Rare photographs and documents were received from the personal archives of the direct participants of those events. Rare tricolors are on display including the flag unfurled on October 7, 1988 rally at the Lokomotiv stadium in Leningrad. It was the moment when the white, blue and red flag was raised for the first time. Visitors will also see the flag hung on the balcony of the auditorium in the Mariinsky Palace in 1990 by Alexander Bogdanov, a member of the democratic movement, as well as the flag hung over the Mariinsky Palace on August 22, 1991.

One of the important events of the era of changes was the struggle to return to the city on the Neva it`s historical name of Saint-Petersburg. The leaflets, posters, documents, citizens' letters, and newspaper publications at the exhibition reflecting the intensity and drama of the political and ideological confrontation surrounding the renaming of the Northern Capital.

Opening the exhibition, the director of the museum Evgeny Artemov greeted the guests: “Today in the room there are gathered not only heroes and participants of those events, but also museum staff, who went to the opposition rallies, took photos, collected exhibits. That's how the collection connected with the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s began to form”.

The history of the museum perfectly fits into the general context of the changes that were taking place in the country, Evgeny Artemov reminded: “While there was a struggle to return to Saint-Petersburg it’s historical name, we fought for the renaming The Museum of the Great October Socialist Revolution to the State Museum of Political History of Russia. It happened in August 1991”.

Museums staff had an idea to make such an exhibition at the museum long ago. “But for the plans to be realized, a certain amount of time must pass after the events, and the museum collection must be replenished with exhibits, - said the curator of the exhibition, senior researcher of the museum Alexander Smirnov. - It is impossible to collect all the materials on footsteps. Often people who have valuable and unique items are not ready to give them away immediately. It takes time for them to want to keep their relics as an exhibit for descendants.

And that time has come. According to Alexander Smirnov, 12 years ago museum began receiving objects and documents about the events of those years. At the exhibition, visitors will see the emblem of Saint-Petersburg, painted by “Mitki”. Artists supported the idea of returning to the city the name of St. Peter and painted a picture specifically to the meeting of September 9, 1990. On that day, there was a mass demonstration in defense of the name “St. Petersburg” on the Palace Square.

At the opening of the exhibition witnesses of the events - deputies of the Lensoviet Yuri Nesterov, Alexander Rodin and Pavel Tsyplenkov, as well as former co-chairman of the Historical and Patriotic Association “Russian flag” Dmitry Matlin shared their memories. It was him who gave the museum the homemade flag that members of the organization took and went to the rally for the renaming of the city. The same flag hung over the Mariinsky Palace in August 22, 1991 after the collapse of the August coup.

The exhibition will be open until the end of the year (3rd floor, hall 35).

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