Monday, July 28, 2008

The following appeal is taken from the Centrum Informacji Anarchistycznej, a Polish anarchist news site. The following has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar.
Dear friends and comrades!

Currently a number of anarchists are attempting to win the opening of a house-museum of Kropotkin in city of Dmitrov in the Moscow region of Russia.
This is where Pyotr Alekseevich Kropotkin lived the last years of his life and died in 1921. A museum existed here until the year 1942. At the time of Perestroika the authorities of Dmitrov promised to open the museum again, and in 1992, on the event of the 150th jubilee of Kropotkin, authorities freed up the house where Kropotkin lived. Between 2004 and 2007 it was widely announced that museum would soon open, and a memorial statue was set up in Dmitrov. Local (now deceased) amateur geographer R.F.Khohlov collected exhibits for the museum.

Right now another enthusiast and researcher is working on museum, Jan L'vovich Prusskiy, but he has limited opportunities to push forward.Already for 15 years the opening of the museum has again and again been delayed. Now we believe that local authorities are consciously slowing down the process, as they are considering Kropotkin as a politically dubious figure.

The original house of Kropotkin was dilapidated and got torn down. A project to reconstruct it was launched, and a new identical house is already partially built, but as construction is not finished it is now dilapidating.

Unfortunately, we may not found museum on our own - for this we would need a huge treasury. Also, the exhibition collected by Khohlov is state property. This is why we are attempting to put some pressure on local authorities to have them to finish the construction. We are ready for a political protest campaign, but we decided to start with a letter writing campaign, in order to show that there is a big interest in Kropotkin all around the world.

On the 4th of September 2008 the Museum and nature protection area "Kremlin of Dmitrov" (part of which is the house-museum of Kropotkin) is having a jubilee. P.A. Kropotkin was among founders of the museum in 1918, and we want to draw attention that in this time of jubilee it is even more unjust to delay opening of the house-museum of this outstanding person.

We ask you to send letters addressed to the administration of Dmitrov, where you show interest as to the fate of the museum and when it will be opened. Letters are likely to have more effect the more formal they look - so if you have an opportunity to use a letterhead of some official institution, where you may work as a researcher, journalist, activist etc., do it. Note your profession in the letter.
We are happy to answer to any additional questions you may have.
Thank you for your support!
In solidarity,
Olga in behalf of the initiative group.
E-mail for questions: taoom at riseup dot net

An example letter (better to write in your own words, and also to add what is your relation to Kropotkin, about research you may be conducting etc.).
To head of Dmitrov region
Valeri Vasil'evich Gavrilov
Dear Valeri Vasil'evich!

The name of Pyotr Alekseevich Kropotkin - scholar, outstanding revolutionary, great humanist, one of the main theorists of anarchism and remarkable traveler, is widely known all around the world. Researcher of the ice age, discoverer of many areas, historian who wrote one of the best books on the French revolution, thinker who formulated the famous sociobiological law on mutual aid as a factor of evolution and literary researcher - Kropotkin is enjoying deserved attention and respect in many countries.

The huge and stable interest in the personality, life and ideas of Kropotkin is proven by the fact that many books of his are still regularly republished in many countries of the world, historians and philosophers are still studying his heritage and works. International scientific seminars, dedicated to P.A. Kropotkin are regularly organized.

We are worried, that already for many years opening of house-museum of this thinker, who is known worldwide, is delayed, although the staff of Dmitrov museum has gathered a substantial exhibition. On the 4th of September 2008 the museum "Kremlin of Dmitrov" is celebrating its 90th birthday. As we know, P.A. Kropotkin was one of the founders of the museum, so this is yet another reason not to further delay opening of the house-museum of this great person.

From our part, we are ready to cooperate and to do everything which depends on us, to make the opening as soon as possible. We are writing to you with a request to inform us about the state of affairs regarding to preparation of the opening of the museum.

Date Signature (with profession and status)
Return address for answer

If you like to, you may address another letter to director of museum and nature protection area "Kremlin of Dmitrov" Anna Sadovoy.

Please send letters to P.O. Box 13 109028 Moscow Russia, and we will pass them forward to the aforementioned authorities.
In case you do not speak Russian, we will attempt to translate your letters. In case you do, below is an example letter in Russian which you may use (in case you got letters in unreadable encoding, write to contact e-mail above).
Главе Дмитровского районаГаврилову Валерию Васильевичу
Уважаемый Валерий Васильевич!Имя Петра Алексеевича Кропоткина - ученого-энциклопедиста, выдающегосяреволюционера, великого гуманиста, одного из главных теоретиков анархизма, замечательного путешественника - широко известно во всеммире. Исследователь ледникового периода, первооткрыватель многих земель, историк, написавший одну из лучших книг о Великой Французской революции, мыслитель, сформулировавший знаменитый биосоциологический закон взаимопомощи как фактора эволюции, этик, литературовед - Кропоткин пользуется заслуженным вниманием и уважением во многих странах.Об огромном интересе к личности, жизни и идеям Кропоткина говорят такие факты как то, что его книги до сих пор регулярно переиздаются во многих странах мира, историки и философы продолжают изучать его наследие и также печатают свои труды. Регулярно проходят международные научные конференции, посвященные П.А.Кропоткину.Мы обеспокоены, что уже много лет не происходит открытие дома-музея всемирно известного мыслителя Петра Алексеевича Кропоткина, несмотря на то, что сотрудниками Дмитровского музея собрана значительная экспозиция. 4 сентября 2008 года музей «Дмировский кремль» отмечает свое 90-летие.
Как известно, П.А.Кропоткин был одним из основателей этого музея, и тем более несправедливо далее откладывать открытие дома-музея этого выдающегося человека.Мы готовы, со своей стороны, оказать содействие и сделать все, зависящее от нас, чтобы это событие произошло как можно скорее. Обращаемся к Вам с просьбой сообщить о состоянии дел с подготовкой музея к открытию.Адрес для ответа: …
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