The Aurora may have gone on renovations, but its soul has stayed. Items from the battleship were moved to the Central Naval-Military Museum and created a new exhibition.
The exhibition opened a day ago. Organizers insist - items from the Aurora didnt just change their home. Those are now displayed alongside previously unseen rarities - thus telling the ship’s story in a new light. Alexander Brius has the details.
The Andreevskiy banner, parade formation, orchestra. Only its not done on the deck, but in the halls of the Naval-Military Museum. The exhibition dedicated to just one ship has opened here - «the Aurora in the country’s history». It contains around 300 items. Half of it came straight from the battleship. Documents, staff belongings, ship radio. It goes through the entire biography of the famous vessel - from inception to our days.
Ruslan Nekhay, director of the Central Naval-Military Museum: «We have tried to show with this exhibition that the Aurora is not only the symbol of the October Revolution. The Aurora played witness to many events of the 20th century».
The Russian-Japanese War, the World War I, the Civil War. Weapons of the battleship even remember the Great Patriotic War, Leningrad’s Blockade. Having won all its battles, the legendary ship retired into a monument, permanently based by the Petrogradskaya Embankment. Museum of military glory was opened on board the ship. People lined up to get there. But in September last year, the Aurora was towed off into the docks of Kronschtadt for repairs.
Nikolay Yablokov, visitor to the exhibition: «It is the right thing to do - move the items to the Naval-Military museum while the ship is being repaired. Its great. Those who haven’t been to the Aurora yet, can still see these things and learn about the ship»
There are unique items too. The first book of the Aurora’s honorary visitors had never been on display before. It contains signatures and imressons of heads of states.
Valeriy Isin, head researcher at the Central Naval-Military museum: «The whole globe is here. Here we see a signature by Fidel Castro, who visited the ship on May 16th 1963».
Historic things aside, there are also touch panels. Modern gear attracts youths and makes the exhibition more accessible to foreigners. Maybe, the empty embankment where the Aurora used to stand will soon see an information banner - suggesting that despite the ship is no longer in its place, its memory is being well preserved here.
Alexander Brius, reporter: «For the time being, the museum halls are not filled with people. Mostly the military are present. But with the beginning of the tourist season, it may attract those who wanted to visit the Aurora in the first place. As people here say, these items are the soul of the Aurora. And while the battleship is in Kronschtadt for restorations until 2016, guests will be treated to stories about its glory here»