15 October 2019

Russia: Dutch experts participate in the International Cultural Heritage Council

Vera Tolstoj and Pieter Hessels represented the Netherlands at the International Cultural Heritage Council, held from 23 to 27 September in Moscow.

Vera Tolstoj at the International Cultural Heritage Council (photo: Pavel Kouzmine).

How come was the Golden Bedroom of the Melnikov House painted gold, while the stratigraphic analysis of the paint layers hasn’t revealed any yellow pigment? This question was asked by Vera Tolstoj, the Dutch participant of the International Cultural Heritage Council, in her presentation about the unique joint research project of the Melnikov House together with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (represented by Mariël Polman and Luc Megens).

The International Cultural Heritage Council

The International Cultural Heritage Council is an annual project of the Government of Moscow. It is a week-long programme of site visits to recently completed heritage conservation projects in Moscow. At the end of the week the participants are asked to give their feedback on the projects.  

This year, the international heritage experts visited VDNH, Narkomfin, Turgenev House Museum, Maly Theatre, and a number of other venues. The council members also met students and presented their own work.

Shared green heritage

The second Dutch participant of the International Cultural Heritage Council was the landscape architect Pieter Hessels. He made a presentation on the gardens and parks designed by Dutch gardeners in Russia in the early eighteenth century. One of those gardens, now known as Lefortovo Park, was laid out in Moscow in 1723 by Nicolaas Bidloo, personal physician of Peter the Great and amateur landscape architect. The seminal Cultural-Historical Atlas of Lefortovo Park created by Dutch experts in 2013 is still highly relevant. It analyses the design principles used by Bidloo and can help make choices for the future development of the park.