In Naberezhnye Chelny, in the center of the New Town, on Enthusiasts Boulevard, there is a deadly threat (surrounded by sidewalks). She is tall and beautiful, she is admired, although not everyone understands what she portrays. Ironically, the real threat (at least to someone’s health) is called the “Tree of Life”. This is a sculpture of the legendary (for Chelny for sure) Ildar Khanov, located closer to the rest of his sculptures on the boulevard to the famous “Tyubeteyka”, now it is Business Center 2/18. Symbolic sculptures – “Awakening”, “Evolution”, “Tree of Life” – installed on the Boulevard of Enthusiasts in 1984 became, perhaps, the most striking landmark of Naberezhnye Chelny, a cultural calling card of the city’s architecture. But time and the element take their toll – the sculptures began to crumble. The People’s Artist of Tatarstan told about it back in 2018 Anatoly Pashin, who at one time helped the now classicist monumentalist Ildar Khanov in working on these sculptures.
“They only stay on the frame,” Pashin warned.
He also said that sculptures have long needed a full-fledged restoration, rather than cosmetic repairs by cementing cracks.
“We need good concrete, a special adhesive and smalt,” Pashin suggested.
And it would be necessary for the work to be done by artists or sculptors, because ordinary plasterers-painters will hardly be able to restore the smalt pattern. But since the installation of the Chelnov symbols on the boulevard, no one has attracted masters of art to work with them. And time goes by, and sculptures are slowly being destroyed.
– I look at the “Tree of Life” and I’m afraid that one day its tallest reinforced concrete branches will break off, collapse and crush someone on the sidewalk, – says Honored Artist of Tatarstan, artist and sculptor Fakil Gaifutdinov.
Back in 2017, he, then chairman of the Union of Artists of the city, wrote appeals that the sculptures need quality restoration. He also wrote to the president Rustam Minnikhanovand the State Councilor Mintimer Shaimiev, and Deputy Head of the Executive Committee Chelnov Khalimov. The answer received did not suit him. That is why he waits and fears that the “Tree of Life” will one day become a source of death for someone. The answer to the question why works of art are not restored and restored properly, involuntarily found the People’s Artist of Tatarstan and Honored Artist of Russia Vladimir Akimov. He lives in Naberezhnye Chelny, but his creations are also in other cities. In Leninogorsk, at the end of a residential building, there is a mosaic showing the unity of the creation of architects, artists and builders. Akimov does not remember the exact address of the house, but calls specific landmarks:
– Not far from the art school and in front of the monument to the oil workers.
The mosaic cracked, began to crumble. Akimov called one of the deputy ministers of culture of the republic and said that the mosaic should be restored.
– Are you sure that your mosaic is an object of culture? The official asked briefly.
Akimov says that at that moment, as it is called, the jaw sagged. It seems to be an artist all his life, and a well-deserved, recognized, well-known cultural official. It seems that during his long creative life he did not create anything but cultural objects.
– Then I called the chief architect of Leninogorsk, and he promised to do mosaic, – says Akimov.
But we should return to his conversation with the Deputy Minister of Culture, because a high-ranking official explained to him what exactly he meant by asking his question. And this was explained to us by a specialist of the Tatarstan Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, with whom we managed to talk. It turns out that it is very important whether this or that sculpture, mosaic, panel is included in the list of cultural heritage sites. If so, its condition and safety are closely monitored by the Committee and the Ministry of Culture. And for the restoration (repair, restoration) of the object money is allocated from the budget of Tatarstan, if necessary, funds from the federal budget are attracted. If not, then the fate of the object depends entirely on the balance holder. This is usually a local municipality. President Minnikhanov once spoke very clearly about the possibilities of local budgets. That was a few years ago. The President was asked to involve the budgets of cities and districts to finance the construction of housing for young families under the federal program. Then it turned out that the program was based on the number of apartments according to the indicators of previous years, and Moscow took, and did not allocate so much money. Hearing that the “hole” was proposed to be closed by local budgets, Minnikhanov swore and said:
– He (the head of the city, district) does not have money for a fence!
The same is true of urban monumentalism performed by recognized masters of art. The money is needed in such a way that no local budget allocated for culture will pull. Just in case, the Committee’s specialist suggested that we study the List of Cultural Heritage Sites and the List of Identified Cultural Heritage Sites. All this is on the Committee’s website. We studied. There are more than a thousand objects in each of the Lists, but there are no Chelnin sculptures by Ildar Khanov or Akimov’s Leninogorsk mosaic.
– And what if a branch of the “Tree of Life” actually falls off and people suffer, who will be responsible for it?
– First of all, the balance holder, along with him and we, of course, – said the specialist of the Ministry of Culture of Tatarstan.
– We can add the object to the list at the request of the executive committee of the city or district. Such an application can also be submitted by the author of the work, a public organization or just a citizen. The application must indicate what the site is and why, in the applicant’s opinion, it should be recognized as a cultural heritage site. A commission will be set up to study the object and make a decision, explained a specialist of the Committee named Vyacheslav.
What do you say here? Public figures, some of the citizens, take care to save at least the sculptures of Khanov, officials need a statement.