Konstantin's Palace: in Search of the Original

Last Saturday in St. Petersburg was held yet another monthly meeting of the working group engaged in restoring Konstantin's palace and park ensemble in Strelna. The idea is to make it the State Congress Palace. As head of the President's administration Vladimir Kozhin reported, the participants discussed the progress that had been made since their last meeting and apparently the restoration is going well. More than a thousand people are involved, working three shifts. Mr. Kozhin said he was confident the project would be finished on schedule. Very little remains of the palace's original decoration. The palace had been rebuilt many times to suit the architectural style in fashion at any particular time. The working group tries hard to keep the unity of style, though one cannot talk about restoring the palace's original appearance because there are several of those. This restoration is a complex work of finding everything there is to be found and using it in the best of ways.

The International Charity Fund for the palace's restoration also sat on Saturday, its participants concentrating on the financing needed for the works and the interior decoration of the museum palace. Vladimir Kozhin opened an exposition about the palace's past, present and future. The exhibits represent what the palace will look like once the restoration is over. The State Congress Palace will be more than just a place for governmental and social events. Those will not be taking place every day, probably not even every month. The palace will also serve as a museum. According to Mr. Kozhin, the hydro-technical works what have been done outdoors will make the nearby parks a real masterpiece of landscape architecture. Two thirds of the palace itself will be open for public as a regular museum.

Konstantin's palace was placed on the to-be-restored-by the tercentennial-anniversary-of-St. Petersburg list, approved by the State Tercentennial committee headed by the Russian President.

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