New exhibit of Old Narva scale model on display at Narva Art Gallery

Old Narva scale model.
Old Narva scale model. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The Art Gallery at Narva Museum has opened the new exhibit of the Old Narva scale model made by the local craftsman Fjodor Šantsõn.

The 120 square meter model comprising about 510 buildings is the centerpiece of the new permanent pre-war Narva exhibition in the museum's historic halls.

The author designed the replica as a single unit, which initially did not fit between the gallery's columns at the Narva Castle museum.

The decision to split the model in sections and distribute them throughout the space has improved the way visitors experience it: "they can now literally stroll between the streets of old Narva," Zurab Jänes, chief curator of the Narva Museum, said.

"The only right place for Šantsõn model of pre-war Old Narva is here, in the Old Town, in one of the few survived historical buildings," the curator added.

The exhibit presents many new opportunities, "especially for youngsters, children can take a closer look at a particular street or square," the director of the museum, Maria Smorzhevskikh-Smirnova, added.

The exhibit will be expanded throughout the year with interior objects from pre-war Narva homes as well as paintings, photographs and graphics depicting Old Narva.

The mayor of Narva, Katri Raik, told ERR News earlier that the city has begun special planning to reconstruct one side of the old city's main road, Rüütli tänav. "There might be once again a beautiful 18th-century stroll from the riverbank to the Town Hall, with 16 historical buildings rebuilt to their original shape."

"I can see why people want the old Narva back," she said. "The city has always been the third largest in Estonia and many Estonian families have ties to the place, so the Old Narva is of interest to many, here and abroad."

First Lady Sirje Karis visited the opening of the exhibition, the daily Postimees reported. "I am happy that Fjodor Šantsõn's meticulous and devoted work is once again on exhibit for residents and visitors to admire, but it also pains me to see what a beautiful Baroque heirloom World War II deprived us of," she said. "It shows, indeed, that Narva is the beginning of Europe and that it lies on a delicate line of contact between cultures."

Almost the entire Old Narva, once regarded as a jewel of northern European baroque architecture, was destroyed during Word War II.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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