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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Extreme Andriivsky uzviz

Major urban renewal effort has made a popular tourist attraction hard to access, but its cultural life proves hard to kill
3 April, 2012 - 00:00

Let us recall that the reconstruction began back in the fall of 2011. The first phase of the renewal effort involves replacing communications and pavement, renovating the buildings’ facades and installing new street lights, while further plans call for complete renovation of the historic neighborhood by 2015. But as the 2011-12 winter was really harsh in the capital, the work has been intensified, with completion of the project tentatively set for the coming Day of Kyiv (May 27, 2012), while the official unveiling ceremony should be held before the opening of the Euro-2012.

Because of the ongoing renovation of sidewalks in the descent, the Museum of One Street is operating in reservation-only mode since March 20, 2012 (the museum’s e-mail address is OneStreetMuseum@gmail.com).

According to the artistic director of the Theater on Podil Vitalii Malakhov, the company is allowed to use Hostynny Dvir’s stage until the end of April, 2012; they continue to rehearse, although they are packed and ready to go, and invite theatergoers to attend the premiere of The Elder Son play (written by Aleksandr Vampilov, directed by Ihor Volkov). Chamber performances are held in Theater Salon at 20b Andriivsky uzviz, but come May, the Podil company will need to move house again, as their lease of the Hostynny Dvir premises expires. According to the initial plan, the artists were supposed to perform at the Architects’ House, but the premises there proved to be totally unsuitable for theater performances. Incidentally, the theater signed an agreement with the management of the Ukraina Palace on March 28 providing for holding chamber performances on the palace’s stage until the theater moves in their own new home. The Kyiv City State Administration Chairman Oleksandr Popov has reassured the actors that the theater would move before the beginning of the new theater season, that is, the fall of 2012.

The officials tried to close the Koleso Theater because of the renovation, but it still functions, albeit losing its spectators and ticket income. The company seats in the midst of the construction work. On the one hand, Andriivsky uzviz is undergoing full renovation; while on the other hand, the Andriivska Plaza is being built. All convenient approaches to the theater building are now inaccessible to people willing to come and buy tickets, while those who reserved tickets a month ago began to cancel their reservations. The theater is technically open, but not allowed to function properly.

“The Museum of Mikhail Bulgakov is functioning as of now,” The Day was told by the museum’s director Liudmyla Hubianuri. “The workers have built the footbridge, and the museum is currently accessible again. Of course, getting here is now somewhat complicated task, but if a tourist really wants, he or she will be able to get here. We do not know how long this situation will remain, because it depends on the pace and soundness of the renovation work. Spring and summer is the peak of tourist season, and we are still hostages of the situation. Today, many tourists are seeing the complete destruction and, as a result, refuse to visit Andriivsky uzviz in general and our museum in particular. But we do have some visitors. They are mostly admirers of Bulgakov’s works and those interested in history and culture of Kyiv. We ask all concerned people to visit our museum.”

By Tetiana POLISHCHUK, The Day