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I will take you to the museum

4 (2009)
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To the president of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev.

Dear Dmitry Anatolievich! We wish you to pay attention to the necessity of the decision of one of the problems, concerning the organisation of Olympic Games-2014. The question is the creation of the Olympic museum in Sochi, basing on the archaeological materials, found during research-work over the Russian antique epoch monuments. During the antique epoch competitions were the important part of public life in such cities and settlements in the south of our country like Tanais, Fanagoria, Hermonassa, Horhyppia, Kep and others. We can tell not only about economic and cultural entity of antique region from the lower Tanais — Don up to settlements around present Sochi, but also about sports entity of Oikumena.

There are the artefacts proving the helding of Games in antique cities on the territory of Russia: on marble stele from Horhyp-pian (Anapa) excavations there are carved about three hundred names of winners of competitions held in ancient city. The Horhyppian catalogue is the outstanding monument of sports culture of antique epoch of Russia, unfortunately, forgotten. There are known gymnasia in cities of Eastern Black-Sea-Coast. They were the centre of a public life, besides temples. The biggest cities had several gymnasium for different age groups. The names of gym-nasiarques — the tutors of youth, are carved on steles from Tanais excavations. Family tree of competitive culture forms in antique cities on Russian territory goes from classical samples of the Games held in Ancient Greece: Olympia, Panath-enaia, Nymphaea, Delphia. Monuments of the south of Russia are the heritage, which became classical long time ago. That's why it is so important to find forms of its practical application in today's educational, sports, tourist international projects.

Creation of the Olympic museum will not only remind of continuity, but can become a basis of various educational, propaganda, ideological projects in the field of development of domestic sports, in the programs connected with preparation of the future Olympic Games in Russia. Creation of the Olympic museum will help to show a large quantity of museum treasures, will draw from the largest and provincial museums of the country a lot of masterpieces having both scientific, art, and public value. Many masterpieces are dispersed in collections of museums, their content is diluted in local history expositions. In the Olympic context of a specialised museum their role would be shown more brightly, would be more useful and is more significant.

Summarizing, we can also speak about the creation of economic tourist branch «Antique world of Russia», new for southern regions of Russia. Formation of the perspective program of tourist business would allow to narrow the gap between magnificent finds of antique treasures and a disastrous state of ancient settlements.

Realisation of the project of Russian Olympic museum will give the chance to begin rhe creation of antique monuments databank of Northern and Eastern Black-Sea-Coast. The project will allow to carry on regular serious dialogues with foreign museums and institutes of higher education, and to involve means of foreign and domestic investors in development and improvement of antique epoch monuments. In the long term — the consolidation of research and tourist domestic and similar European programs.

Hope for your understanding,
Valery Chesnok — the senior research worker of archaeological museum «Tanais»


Author: Valery Chesnok, the senior research worker of archaeological museum Tanais