Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum
in Izvara
First International conference
“Perspectives of Russian-Finnish museum cooperation”
Original in Russian

First International conference "Perspectives of Russian-Finnish museum cooperation" was held in Saint Petersburg, Izvara, and Pavlovsk on 22-24 October 2008. The conference was organized within the framework of the International project “Northern Renaissance – New Dialogue of Cultures”, realized on the basis of the European Union’s fund TASIS.

The partners of the project are South Karelia Museum in Lappeenranta (Finland), Finnish Association of Museums, Creative Union of Museum Workers in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region, A.V. Suvorov Museum in Saint Petersburg, and Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara. The project was supported by the Committee on Culture of Saint Petersburg Government, State Museum and Estate “Pavlovsk”, and A.S. Popov Central Museum of Communications.

Within the framework of the project there was an exchange of experts and Russian museums. The meeting of museum specialists from Finland and Saint Petersburg took place in Lappeenrana in June 2008. The highlight of the project was the conference, the main topic of which was the discussion of the long-term cooperation perspectives and partnership between the museums and museum experts. This topic was supported by many museums of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region.

A.S. Popov Central Museum of Communications was the venue of the Plenary Session. The reporters made emphasis on the big opportunities of Finland in Russia in development of cooperation between museums in different directions and its importance for strengthening Russian-Finnish connections.

The Plenary Sesiion of the International conference “Perspectives of Russian-Finnish museum cooperation”
The Plenary Sesiion
The working group of the project
The working group of the project
International conference in Izvara
Conference in Izvara

The second day of the conference held in Izvara was very rich in events. The Chairs of the conference in this day were O.A. Cherkasova, director of Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara, and H. Talvitie, President of Association of Museums in Finland. The main topic was “Cultural tourism – a common history”. The reporters were M. Mattinen, director of Department of Monuments and Landmarks of the National Chamber of Antiques (report ‘Promotion of the Cultural Heritage in Finland and Russia: Castles and Fortresses’), and the Keeper of the museum collections on the National Museums of Finland E. Anttila (report ‘Significant Reminiscences: 200th Anniversary of the Finnish War in 1808-1809’). The significance of this war was that it had caused the creation of the Finnish State – firstly as a part of Russia, and later as an independent State. OA. Cherkasova, director of Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara, presented a report “Practical aspects of inter-cultural cooperation”.

Pavlovsk. View from the Palace
View from the Palace

In her report OA. Cherkasova highlighted the idea of the project, which is based on deep community of history, culture, spiritual and esthetical ideas in most different branches of culture and arts in Russia and Finland, during the period of the Modernist Style. Study of this phenomena was the purpose of the International programme “Northern Modern. Dialogue of Cultures”, which was initiated a few years ago by Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum.

Practical aspects of the cultural cooperation were discussed also at the International conference “Significance and Importance of Museums in the Contemporary World”. Such issues as great significance of museums in modern world and their peace-making activities were the key-topics of the conference. The conference was organized by Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum with the support of Committee on Culture and Committee on External Relations of Saint Petersburg government, within the framework of Session of Committee on Culture of the Union of the Baltic Cities in 2005.

These materials were presented in 2006 to Mr. Oli Imonen, the Head of the South Karelia Museum in Lappeenranta. The result of the creative cooperation and discussions was the new project “Northern Renaissance. New Dialogue of Cultures”. This project was developed by the specialists from the South Karelia Museum in Lappeenranta. This topic is especially important for the Museum in Izvara because of life and creative work of Nicholas Roerich. The source of this topic in the great painter’s life was Izvara itself, located in the ancient Vodskaya land, Ingermanland, on which the dialogue of Slavic and Finnish cultures has been ongoing for about 1000 years. This was reflected in the exhibition “Ingermanland in the mirror of numismatic findings”, which aroused a great interest among the guests from Finland.

The venue of the final day of the conference and summing-up of the results was the State Museum and Estate “Pavlovsk”. All participants unanimously agreed that the conference produced very bright impressions and gave many personal contacts as well as concrete topics for a fruitful cooperation in the future.

Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna E-mail: