A new cultural centre – a local history museum – has opened its doors to visitors in Shchuchye village, Voronezh oblast.
Two storeys, three theme halls and more than 250 exhibits – such museums appear not only in administrative centres of regions and districts, but even in rural areas. Not so long ago, the residents of Shchuchye could not even dream of such a modern oasis of culture by their homes.
The opening ceremony gathered about 200 local people. Igor Kirnos, Head of Liski district, Viktor Shevtsov, Leading Expert of the Office of the Governor of Voronezh oblast, Aleksandr Rybenko, EkoNivaAgro Regional Director for Voronezh oblast, and Stefan Duerr, EkoNiva Group President, were the guests of honour on that day.
‘Our dairies are not the only thing we care about, we strive to make life in villages better’, said Stefan Duerr. ‘The new local history museum will continue our cultural traditions and revere the memory of the soldiers who fought and laid down their lives for peace in our country. The future generations should know the history of their native land, pay homage to the remarkable feats of their ancestors and enrich the great traditions of Shchuchye village.’
At the local history museum, on exhibition is a street featuring old-time tillage implements — a harrow, a plough and an ard. Inside the building, there are three exhibition halls. The first one called From the Distant Past displays the history of Shchuchye and neighbouring villages. The second hall Military Glory presents unique artefacts dating back to the Second World War. The last one is a gallery, which exhibits more than 50 works of art created by the members of the Association of Russian Artists.
‘Most of the items displayed have been transferred from the old school museum in Shchuchye’, explained Nikolay Safronov, Local Lore Expert and Director of the Museum. ‘Some of the exhibits were given by EkoNiva and the local people as a gift. Today, our collection has been enriched by a Maxim machine gun, a Mosin rifle, an antique watch and cutlery dating back to the 1940s.’
Apart from telling the history of Shchuchye, the newly-opened museum houses three local social associations. The Water of Life club invites pupils to study and save rare plants. Green Lamp is a literature club staging poetry events. The Eternal Flame association is engaged in the search and reburial of soldiers who fought in the Great Patriotic War.
‘The major function of the museum is educative’, stated Igor Kirnos, Head of Liski district. ‘I am sure that quite soon the museum will give boost to the foundation of more local associations, the launch of new exhibitions and the extension of the existing collections.’
From year to year, Shchuchye is turning into a better place, where the residents want to live, raise children and impart wisdom to grandchildren. All the streets in the village are asphalted and lit up. A new kindergarten has been opened, and an orthodox church has been renovated. The reconstruction of the community centre is being completed, and now the museum of local history has welcomed the first guests.
‘EkoNiva does not waste words tangibly proving that it is not just the biggest milk producer in Europe – it is a company with corporate social responsibility’, concluded Nikolay Safronov. ‘I would like to express my deep gratitude to Stefan Duerr and his team for the trust put in us and implementation of such an exciting project.’
By Viktor BARGOTIN