At the exhibition "Code of Mezhyhirya" ex-ruler of Ukraine: here are piles of gold

“Do not ask us about the golden loaf. We do not know where he is. But his spirit continues to embarrass the public - just like the spirit of the one in whose house they found it, ”the curators of the“ Mezhigorya Code ”exhibition in Kiev appeal to visitors. Our journalist visited the “priceless” opening day: in addition to icons, book rarities, and several canvases (Polenov, Aivazovsky, European masters), luxury reigns lordly, wild. Often - caricature.Despite the absence of a kilogram of gold, cast in the form of a “social” bakery product, the queue at the National Art Museum of Ukraine snakes almost from European Square. Patiently idle on the famous "Pear" - Grushevskogo, where the hottest battles took place recently, - the average man craves not for bread, but for the spectacle of how his "servants lived and lived" until recently.However, this was precisely known in advance: everything is in gold - it’s already dazzling, in icons in expensive salaries, in porcelain and coarse pastoral shepherds. Sometimes this beauty is complemented by exquisite bone carving from medieval Chinese.But the audience is much more interesting than the whole room, given to the fussy ceremonial portraits of Viktor Yanukovych personally. Is there "Yanyk" in gold, in a frame of precious stones. Authorship of Nikas Safronov, driving a racing car, and even in the form of a doll as tall as a man. All this is incredibly amusing the public. Although some - envy.At the pre-opening press conference were museum workers, representatives of organizations who stopped the looting, and, of course, curators. This is the artist Alexander Roitburd (already 20 years in the TOP-10 Ukrainian artists, collector and theorist of contemporary art, he headed the Kiev “Gelman Gallery” in the early 2000s), and art historian and deputy director of the Mystetsky Arsenal Alice Lozhkina.

Alexander Roitburd complained for a long time about how simply it was impossible to create a “concept” of the exhibition from the “landfill” of brilliant, but for the most part non-artistic, exhibits. While the organizers did not come up with the idea of ​​spreading samovars - to samovars, watches - to clocks, icons - to icons, and portraits of the fleeing owner of the estate - to other similar portraits.

The most valuable picture of those found on Viktor Yanukovich’s former estate is “Christ and the Sinner” by Vasily Polenov (almost $ 6.4 million - we published a detailed story). Also among the values ​​are the famous Meissen (and not only) porcelain, a vase and a plate made by Picasso in 1950, decor items (eg four statues worth about $ 1 million), icons (“The Intercession” of the 17th century) ... And a collection books, including the “Apostle” of Ivan Fedorov himself (1574 edition)

As a result, Roitburd explains, it turned out to be a “code”, which in the era of Entre Rios meant “laying”. Different "layers" of objects reflect different aspects of the worldview of their former owner. “Dictatorship Inventory” (as the curators ultimately called their text-justification) resulted, as Sumerian “codes”, into the “Book of Time” halls (with floor and wall “gold” clocks of all types and forms), “The Book of Water” (sea landscapes, including "View of Feodosia on a moonlit night" by Ivan Aivazovsky, as well as a couple of ikornits), "Book of Light" (candelabra and candlesticks).There are other sections in the exhibition, called “books” at this opening day: “spirituality” (icons and church plate), “idols” (statues of pagan gods and allegorical figures), “vanities” (the same ceremonial portraits, including a portrait doll) other. Completes the inspection of the “exhibition of advanced achievements” of the dictatorial farm “The Book of Hunt” (with the tanned skin of a Nile crocodile on the whole wall) and the “Book of a Warrior” with a collection of small arms, which stretched to a whole floor.And, finally, - "Book of outcomes." “This section is not on display. This is the feeling that the viewer will take with them ... Craving for ostentatious luxury, just like devastation - in the heads. When our ruling class refuses it, when demonstrating good taste and civilized moderation of needs will become more relevant than “measuring the coolness of Ponts,” then Ukraine will probably get rid of such wild corruption and such unscrupulous theft, ”summarized Alexander Roitburd with Alisa Lozhkina.

... At the exit from the museum a familiar photographer smokes darkly. “I ask,” he says, “from Roitburad. “Why didn’t they say a single name of the one who nadaril this nonsense to Yanukovych? Almost everywhere - gift labels or, for show, certificates? And Roitburd answers this: “Let's not dig in dirty laundry!”

- Fie you! - the photographer pointedly spits. And the line snakes. Only for the first day of the exhibition 1700 people visited it, with a record of 1600 at the exhibition of classical painting. And many still ask the caretakers of the museum about the famous golden loaf.

Elizaveta Vorobyova