In the morning of July 18, authorities of Yoshkar-Ola started the eviction of the Gulag History Museum from the historic building. According to the head of the museum Nikolai Arakcheev, he visited a doctor and was absent during the estate inventory.
According to Arakcheev, the authorities opened the sealed doors of one of the museum's offices with keys and started to list the property. His wife Svetlana Arakcheeva and son protected the exhibits, they recorded the conversation with the officials on camera.
"Representatives of the Municipal Property Management Committee argued that they should levy distress on everything, put it in boxes, take away and issue on application," Arakcheev told «7x7». "My wife convinced them that it is not necessary — or call it confiscation and seizure of property. And if it is not so, then they have no right to touch our exhibits. The dialogue between them lasted more than an hour."
The conversation took place in the presence of the subordinates of the deputy chairman of the Municipal Property Management Committee Stanislav Matveev. According to the head of the museum, Matveev was polite, did not raise his voice and eventually agreed that in some places they were wrong, offered to help with transportation — there are exhibits that weigh 200 kg: safes, busts of Stalin, Gorky and Karl Marx.
As a result, the Arakcheevs gave written consent to the bailiffs to cooperate with the administration regarding vacating the premises.
The Gulag History Museum has been in a historic building — the House of merchant Bulygin — since 2010. The museum did not pay the rent for the building, as the mayor's office made a contract with the Association of Victims of Political Repressions, but when the organization was liquidated, the issue of termination of the contract arose. At the end of May 2018, the city administration sent a letter to the head of the museum Arakcheev about vacating the building.
The authorities state that the premises are dangerous to use and therefore not suitable for excursions. The terms to leave the building are not stipulated. Arakcheev insists that the building is not dangerous, he refers to the examination report of the scientists of Volgatech: the whole building does not need major repairs — only the roof and part of the second floor.
The owners of the museum intend to transfer the exhibits to other museums, and transport the rest to an empty hangar while they search for a new place. Arakcheev is negotiating with the Mari diocese and the Museum of Orthodoxy.
Natalia Petrova, «7x7»