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"The Great Siberian Way and the Peoples of Russia": an intermuseum exhibition project at the Russian Railway Museum

In the year of the 130th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Russian Raiway museum and the Russian Ethnographic Museum are opening a large-scale joint exhibition "The Great Siberian Way and the Peoples of Russia". The exhibits, on the one hand, tell about the history of the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway, and on the other - about the way of life, customs and traditions of the peoples of these lands.

Visitors will be presented with items from the collections of the Russian Raiway museum, illustrating little-known pages of the history of the construction and operation of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

"We are glad that the partner of the Russian Raiway museum is the Russian Ethnographic Museum, whose history is connected with the name of Grand Duke V. N. Tenishev, the Commissar General of the Russian department of the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, at which the Transsib was first presented. It is within the walls of our Museum that the archive of the famous Ethnographic Bureau of Prince V. N. Tenishev is kept, containing unique information about the life of russian peasants," comments Yulia Kupina, director of the Russian Ethnographic Museum.

The museum's guests will be able to explore the sections of the exhibition dedicated to Russians, Udmurts, Tatars, Buryats and Evenks. Each section presents traditional costumes, household items, crafts and religious beliefs from the collections of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, including the ceremonial costume of the Evenki shaman. The subject range is supplemented with photographs of the early twentieth century from the collection of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, representing these peoples. Visitors will see a fragment of the hut of a peasant migrant, photographs from the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, where the Great Siberian Way was awarded the Grand Prix. Videos about the Trans-Siberian Railway will be shown at the exhibition.

"The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, or, as this line was called before the revolution, the Great Siberian Way, is one of the outstanding pages of railway history. The Transsib became a miracle of russian engineering thought at the end of the XIX century. The construction, especially the construction of unique bridges and tunnels, shocked the world community of its time and is still admired.

Rails, bridge spans, water supply devices, rolling stock – all this was manufactured at Russian factories for the Great Siberian Railway.

The Trans-Siberian railway "discovered" Russia, showed the diversity of its peoples. This is reflected in the sections of the exhibition created in close cooperation with the Russian Ethnographic Museum," said Vladimir Odintsov, Director of the Russian Raiway museum.

"In the ethnographic perspective, the construction of the Transsib served to consolidate the cultural diversity of the country and, ultimately, to form a unified national identity of its population," Yulia Kupina summarizes.

The exhibition is open to visitors from October 23, 2021. Access to the exhibition is provided by entrance tickets to the Museum of Railways of Russia: from 100 to 400 rubles. There are benefits.