The exhibition, which opened in the Blue Hall of the Russian State Art Library (RSAL), was the main event in a unique project dedicated to the cultural heritage of Crimean Tatars. The project commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Bakhchisaray Museum, the 140th anniversary of its founder and first director Usein Bodaninsky, the 95th anniversary of RSAL, and the upcoming 150th anniversary of the birth of RSAL’s founder Alexander Fomin.
For the first time, photographs of the ancient capital of the Crimean Khanate from the RSAL and Bakhchisaray Historical, Cultural, and Archaeological Museum-Reserve collections were presented.
Representatives of Crimean-Tatar organisations, descendants of the Bodaninsky and Fomin families, and specialists of museums and libraries gathered at its opening.
During the introduction of the exhibition, Director of the Library Ada Kolganova noted that for RSAL it is very important that the photographs in the library and museum collections, which have not been displayed for nearly 100 years and have not been studied, should reach a wide audience. Photographs in the exhibition represent many monuments that have not survived.
For the first time, and especially for this exposition, the Polytechnic Museum supplied cameras and photographic accessories from the beginning of last century like the photographers of the images might have used.
Speakers noted the importance of RSAL and the Bakhchisaray Museum’s joint work. The concept for the project was supported by the National Film Foundation of the Russian Federation (Gosfilmofond) and collector Nizami Ibraimov, who specially for this project provided films from the beginning of last century about the national hero of the Crimean Tatars—the legendary robber Alim.
All exhibition guests were presented with specially issued sets of postcards of the photographs of Bakhchisaray from the RSAL collection.