On the morning of April 27, Sergey Rybakov, the new head of VSMZ (Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve), was officially introduced in the museum Chambers. At a meeting in the palace hall there were invited employees of the organization, the media and honorary officials. The procedure of presentation was conducted by the director of the Department of museums and external relations of the Ministry of Culture, Alexander Voronko.
Metropolitan official said that such specialists as Svetlana Melnikova are not scattered – the previous director of the VSMZ will be offered a new job. Answering ProVladimir’s question about the reasons for the sudden change in the leadership of the institution, when Melnikova was dismissed on Friday morning, April 23, and Rybakov was appointed already in the afternoon, Voronko said that this is how personnel decisions should be carried out:
“In my opinion, personnel decisions are what personnel decisions are, that they are made and implemented on the same day. The Ministry of Culture as the founder made this decision and implemented it. It is very important that there is a minimum of time between the dismissal of one and the assumption of the next, that the person who assumes this position has authority and recognition in this environment.”
Voronko also explained that the ministry has no claims against Melnikova and suggested that the decision be considered “personnel rotation and a move forward. Sergei Rybakov evaded ProVladimir’s question about when he learned of his appointment and how this process took place in general. The new director only twice repeated the phrase “everything happened very quickly. Our editorial team managed to find out that Rybakov left his position as head of the commercial Center for Restoration and Urban Development in the first half of April.
Here’s what Sergei Rybakov said about his appointment:
“I am overwhelmed by very different feelings, many of them. They are pride, understanding that I have been entrusted with a high degree of trust, the honor of my appointment, and great responsibility. The All-Russian Art Museum is a very significant phenomenon in Russia. Outside Moscow and St Petersburg the museum-reserve stands out by its importance and the scale of the tasks it has to deal with. It is a huge, difficult, creative and satisfying work if the result”.
In response to numerous questions from the media about the plans for the development of the Museum-Reserve, Sergei Rybakov did not give a specific answer, referring to the need to understand the affairs of the organization and get into them properly. His curator Voronko and really asked journalists to wait for the press conference on the results of the “100 days”. All we know is that the Ministry gave Rybakov the task to move the museum forward and develop tourism, while preserving the best traditions of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum Reserve, known for its conservatism.
The presentation of the new head was attended by representatives of the authorities. Senator Olga Khokhlova, Acting Vice-Governor Grigory Vishnevsky, Mayor of Vladimir Andrei Shokhin, and Suzdal City Manager Sergei Sakharov offered their best wishes and congratulations. They also had a very kind word for their predecessor Svetlana Melnikova. The VSMZ staff was silent in the hall, none of them was given the floor.
It is clear, that the new Head is facing many challenges: first of all, the restoration of decayed monuments of white stone architecture. The condition of some of them Rybakov called terrible. Also it is necessary to establish cooperation with private guides, which Svetlana Melnikova failed to find a common language with, and the situation could even be called conflicting. The guides are ready for the dialog – through a journalist they passed a paper with their suggestions to Rybakov. The new director, in his turn, declared his readiness to talk to the public.