Writer’s shrine to get epic treatment
International team of artists and designers to create park dedicated to author of Master and Margarita
By Sophia Kishkovsky. Museums, Issue 242, January 2012
Published online: 14 January 2013
The Italian architect Gabriele Filippini and his Russian wife, Olga Moskvina, who won a competition run by the
city government to transform a small writer’s museum into a multimedia “literary park”, plan to involve international artists and designers to realise their ambitious vision. Moscow
Mikhail Bulgakov State Museum, one of two institutions in dedicated to the life of the writer and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940), is housed in a former communal apartment in which the author lived during the 1920s. The architects want to involve other museums and the nearby Patriarch’s Pond neighbourhood, the setting of Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. Moscow
The novel, written between 1928 and 1940, was banned until the 1960s and censored for decades afterwards. It is a satirical portrait of life under Stalin that includes a mystical interpretation of philosophical questions. The main characters include the devil, in the guise of a mysterious visitor named Woland, and Begemot, a huge talking black cat. (A magnificent furry black cat holds court in the city-funded Bulgakov museum. He also spends time in the privately funded Bulgakov museum, which is in the same building, and is happy to be petted by visitors to both.) Christ, Pontius Pilate and Judas also feature in the novel, which is one reason why it was banned.