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Gulag museum shuts down following conflict with officials

Source: Perm 36

The museum of political repressions Perm 36 is no longer in operation and preparing to close entirely.

The management of Perm 36 has announced that this decision was made after failed negotiations with the administration of Perm Region regarding museum preservation.

An announcement displayed on the museum website reads: “Without the possibility to meet our statutory goals and due to the lack of prospects in future negotiations, the board of Perm 36 has made the decision to halt operation and to begin the process of closing this nonprofit organization.”

The announcement indicated that the nonprofit has, in fact, not been in operation for one year, ever since its assets and property came under the maintenance of regional authorities in 2014. During this time two sides have not been able to reach an agreement.

All attempts at negotiations with the administration of Perm Region regarding the preservation of Perm 36 in the form of a real museum of the history of political repressions in the USSR and as a unique historical monument have failed to yield results. There are no more possibilities for the nonprofit organization Perm 36 to forge a partnership between the authorities and the public on this matter.

Perm 36

The Gulag was the government agency in the USSR that administered forced labor camps during the Stalin era. The museum of political repressions was created in 1992 in Perm Region on the territory of a former Gulag camp known as Perm 36.

The museum complex and adjacent territory belong to the state, which has paid for utilities and renovations. The exhibit items belong to the nonprofit organization Perm 36 and to private individuals who have agreed to display them.

According to the nonprofit organization Perm 36, in 2012 regional authorities stopped financing restoration works. Two years later s state agency called “The Memorial Complex to the Victims of Political Repression” was established, and the nonprofit Perm 36 was shut out from museum work.

Perm 36 voiced harsh criticism of the new administration of the museum, citing that historically significant parts of the complex were being destroyed. The Memorial Complex to the Victims of Political Repression rejected the accusations.

Over the course of several months, human rights organizations participated in negotiations regarding cooperation between regional authorities and the nonprofit Perm 36. No concrete results have been achieved.

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