Up close with the art

Amol Gokhale
Friday, 6 July 2018

Amol Gokhale shares his travel and tour experiences, and also catches the fun and revelry during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

I visited FIFA Fan Fest on one Sunday in Moscow. It is a fanfare where fans can enjoy football-related activities and win small prizes. The game, which I liked the best, was the swift-passing. To explain it in brief, you stand in a small circle and are given 30 seconds to make the maximum number of accurate passes. You have to hit the panel so that the blue light turns green and then the next one would light up and so on...

I’ve been doing solo trips for a few years now. In each trip, there comes a point, where I realise all over again, that no matter how much I like the swift passing game, I cannot do the same while exploring a city. 

So here is what I did on Thursday. I visited Faberge Museum, walked to St Michael Castle and enjoyed the art by Russian designer Vasily Klyukin. It began raining when I was in the castle, and it struck me that I had forgotten the rain cover for my camera bag at the hostel. So I just sat in the castle observing things till it was closing time. When it was time for me to leave, it started raining heavily, so I took shelter in an Irish pub. 

Next on the itinerary was Faberge Museum, which is located in the Shuvalov Palace, one of the most beautiful palaces in St Petersburg, on the embankment of the Fontanka River. The Faberge musuem houses the collection  of Russian jeweller, Carl Faberge. And a person, who as a kid thought that there were far too many jewellery shops on Laxmi Road for his liking, actually got lost in that beautiful palace and intricate artwork. 

The museum is known for its collection of nine famous Imperial Easter Eggs and other artwork by Faberge in the early 20th century. My guide showed me around the museum explaining in great detail the Russian tradition and how Faberge would put a surprise inside the egg. Most of these Easter eggs in the museum were gifted by Russian emperor Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria, starting from the year 1855.

Later, I walked to the nearby St Michael castle and found a little exhibit ‘In Dante Veritas’ created by Vasily Klyukin. The art has been created using metal and speaks about the various aspects and issues of modern day life. The line that still lingers in mind is: Modern wars are carried out in the digital space. This is a new reality, where the main weapons are propaganda and disinformation. How true and relevant!

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