Exciting days for apartment number 50

September 7, 2012

In the month of May, we already reported about the turmoil in apartment number 50 in the house on Bolshaya Sadovaya number 10 in Moscow. The apartment number 50 is the infamous flat where Styopa Likhodeev and Misha Berlioz from The Master and Margarita lived, and where Woland and his retinue took up residence.

Regular visitors of this site know that, since 2007, the so-called Museum M.A. Bulgakov is located in this apartment. But it should not be confused with the Bulgakov House, a museum with a theatre and many other activities residing on the ground floor of the same building since 2004.

On 14 May it was announced that Inna Mishina, the director of the Museum M.A. Bulgakov, was fired because of internal struggles. It was much to the dismay of her sister, the writer, critic and historian Marietta Chudakova, who is quite famous in Moscow. Since Mishina's dismissal, the museum is led on an interim basis by former deputy director Valentina Dimenko.

Click here to read more about the turmoil

Right after the dismissal of Mishina, the Department of Culture of the city of Moscow organised a contest. Interested parties could claim a subsidy of 200,000 rubles (4,925 euros) for the development of a proposal on how to manage the apartment number 50 in the future. Eventually, four of the nine participating teams succeeded in getting their projects through to the final of the competition which, if everything goes as planned, will be finished in exactly one week from now, on September 14, 2012. The winner of the competition will be eligible to deliver the new director of the Museum M.A. Bulgakov.

A first team is led by Nikolay Golubev. He is the Director of the Bulgakov House on the ground floor, and he developed a plan for a global concept of museums devoted to Bulgakov. He proposes an integrated policy for the two existing museums in Bolshaya Sadovaya number 10, together with a close cooperation with the Bulgakov Museum which is based on the Andreevsky Spusk number 13 in Kiev, Ukraine, where Bulgakov lived, and where the action of the novel The White Guard and the play The Days of the Turbins takes place.

The second finalist is Alexandra Selivanova. She was already working for the Museum M.A. Bulgakov as the curator of the exhibitions. Some readers of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported her to have been the originator of the turmoil in May 2012. According to them, Selivanova would have been the one who went to the Department of Culture to complain about Inna Mishina's management, but that was later denied in an open letter signed by all staff members of the museum.

The third candidate also comes from the old team of the Museum M.A. Bulgakov. It's a group led by the aforementioned writer, critic and historian Marietta Chudakova. After the dismissal of her sister, she is apparently still hoping to remain influential at the museum.

The fourth suitor is a certain Gabriele Filippini, an architect from Pesaro, Italy. Together with his Russian collaborator and wife Olga Moskvina he wants to develop a project in which not only the house on Bolshaya Sadovaya number 10 is involved, but also the nearby Patriarch's Ponds, where, as you know, the story of The Master and Margarita begins.

Natalya Fishman, assistant head of the Department of Culture of the city of Moscow, says that the Museum M.A. Bulgakov has got an enormous potential for a major international notoriety. Such words make us hope that the jury will choose for a coherent project, and that both the Russian and foreign visitors will feel welcome in all the rooms of Bolshaya Sadovaya number 10, and will fully enjoy the spirit of Bulgakov.

Turmoil in apartment number 50

In this news show of the television channel Moskva 24 you can hear two of the contest finalists: Nikolay Golubev, the Director of the Bulgakov House on the ground floor of the house on Bolshaya Sadovaya number 10, and Alexandra Selivanova, who was the curator of the exhibitions when Inna Mishina and her sister Marietta Chudakova ruled over the Museum M.A. Bulgakov.

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