Converting an old Museum of Nature into a restaurant, 2009

Events, facts, documents and evidence: The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" had a Museum of Nature designed in the original way and kept lots of interesting exhibits. Expositions showing history, fauna and flora of Belovezhskaya Pushcha took place in a small two-storeyed building constructed in 1960. The Museum was situating in the tourist centre near the village of Kamenyuki and was first to meet the visitors of the national park. An administrative and ecological center with a new Museum of Nature was constructed instead of the old Museum.

The shots below show the old Museum of Nature at front and from the outside.

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(The old Museum of Nature; 1, 2 and 3 June 11, 2005; 4 July 01, 2006)

The plan of preparations for the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha's nature protection provided for construction of reconstruction of the former Museum of Nature into a restaurant. Actually, the existed restaurant has expanded its space as it was inside the building between the old museum and the hotel number 1.

The doorway into the old restaurant is shown below in the photo.

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(The hotel number 1 after the overhaul and the doorway into the restaurant; November 14, 2009)

In spring of 2009 all expositions have quickly been removed from the building of the Museum and works on transformation of the premises into the future restaurant have been begun.

The beginning of the reconstruction of the Museum of Nature into the restaurant is shown below in the pictures.

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(The shape of the old Museum of Nature at the time of
starting the reconstruction works; May 03, 2009)

This is the area in front of the former Museum of Nature and the future restaurant.

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(The area in front of the former Museum of Nature; May 03, 2009)

These shots show works on renovation of the facade of the future restaurant.

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(Renovation of the facade of the future restaurant; August 09, 2009)
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(Renovation of the facade of the future restaurant; August 20, 2009)

That's the view of the new restaurant from outside appearing for visitors on the eve of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

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(The view of the new restaurant from outside ; September 20, 2009)
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(The doorway into the new restaurant; September 20, 2009)

The arms of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" have been placed on the tower wall instead of the date of creation of the old Museum of Nature (1960, look at the photos at the top of the page).

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(The arms of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"; September 20, 2009)

On the wall from the right and above of the restaurant doorway, the inscription of the gilded colour "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 600 years since the establishing the reserved status" have been placed, that is not in compliance with the truth as Belovezhskaya Pushcha had strictly protected status neither 600 years back, nor even at present (read more detail about falseness of this statement and nonsense in the related activities on the page "Let Belovezhskaya Pushcha be spiritually "white"!").

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(The wrong inscription about the establishment of the strictly protected status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha; September 20, 2009)

The new restaurant in autumn of 2009 is as seen in the pictures.

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(The new restaurant from inside; November 14, 2009)

Conclusion. The old Museum of Nature was designed in an original way and kept interesting and rather unique expositions. However, it had to be modernized, to upgrade exhibits and to introduce modern ecological and educational technologies long ago. Besides, it was the museum which combined nature protection with hunting management as a legacy of the State Protected Hunting Game Ground (Belovezhskaya Pushcha had this status between 1957 and 1991 and the Museum was created at that time). So, some other (ecological) museum concept of demonstration of ecosystems, fauna and flora was also necessary. This goal was achieved to a great extent in the new and modern Museum of Nature recently constructed and that is certainly the important event for the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The great extension of the restaurant made at the expense of premises of the old Museum can also be considered as the positive thing regarding the yield from this kind of the business branch which can be increased due to it. However, is everything cheerful and good for this case? Didn't some substitution of values at the deeply psychological level take place for this? That's because the old Museum of Nature was earlier first to meet the tourists and to form their first emotional impression from visiting of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Now the restaurant is first to meet the tourists while the Museum of Nature is last in this line as being situated in a depth of the tourist center. And what is to deal with an inscription on the restaurant wall "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 600 years since the establishing the strictly protected status" which has almost nothing with the real history of nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha? However, any quasi-scientific "dish" and pseudo-advertising of "super-achievements" in conservation of Belovezhskaya Pushcha can be served together with a wine-glass, alcoholic drinks and lunch-plate in the restaurant which will be "swallowed and digested" with pleasure by the visitors (persons of petty interests) of the national park who suspect of nothing about the dirty trick. But maybe is all of these created expressly as a part of the well-thought-out ideology for the purpose to disorient the people at the deeply psychological level that to strengthen their instinct of consumerism and in this way to form the person-of-petty-interests' mass consciousness for the people indifferent to the problem of destruction of the Bialowieza Relic Forest?

One thing is obvious for this case as, together with the expansion of the restaurant and hotel infrastructure in the tourist centre, simultaneous changes at the subtle (spiritual and psychological) level in the perception of a wild nature and the further weakening of local traditions of a particular attitude towards the primeval forest of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have happened.


Some expositions of the old Museum of Nature

The bison Puginal as one of the ancestors of the Belarusian bison herd, a UNESCO's international certificate "Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve", a directors' photo-gallery, and ... a hunting hall and a souvenir shop, in which skins and heads of killed animals were on sale side by side with books about nature protection, booklets about Belovezhskaya Pushcha and various small souvenir goods, met the visitors in the old Museum of Nature.

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(The bison Puginal; July 23, 2005)
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(A UNESCO's international certificate "Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve"; April 22, 2007)
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(A photo-gallery of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's directors; April 22, 2007)
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(The historical and hunting hall of the Museum; April 22, 2007)
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(The historical and hunting hall of the Museum; July 23, 2005)
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(A souvenir shop; April 22, 2007)

The photos below show the expositions of nature, fauna and flora of Belovezhskaya Pushcha placed in the next halls of the Museum.

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(Expositions of nature, fauna and flora; July 23, 2005)
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(Hunting expositions; July 23, 2005)

Some photos of the new restaurant on the inside

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(The new restaurant on the inside)
(*The photos have been taken from websites http://photofile.name/users/hellish/115622750/all/ and http://www.beltur.by/?obj=527)