Archaeology and Contemporary Photography: Educational Programme at the State Hermitage Museumís Youth Centre
The educational programme Archaeology and Contemporary Photography from 13 to 20 May acquainted St. Petersburg city residents with cave paintings from the Paleolithic period from Kapovaya Cave in the Urals.
In the hall at the Youth Centre there was a photographic display of pictures done by Alexei Solodeinikov and Leonid Ilin, members of the non profit organization Arcus. The project exhibition consists of four main sections: a brief overview of the history of studying cave paintings, photographs from the caves in the Franco-Cantabrian region, an explanation of several aspects concerning the study of Paleolithic art and stands dedicated to the Kapovaya Cave. Visitors were presented with a brief history relating to the study of the cave, a general description and finally, photographs of the most ancient pictures, done with the latest computer technology. This technique used by scientists enables them to remove all unnecessary clutter from the picture, leaving only the painting itself.
On the programmeís opening day, 13 May, leading researcher from the Karpinsky All-Russian Scientific Geological Research Institute, and chairman of the Commission on Speleology of the Russian Geological Society, Yury Sergeevich Lyakhnitsky, talked about the history of the Shulgan-Tash (Kapovaya) caves and about the problems of preserving the paintings found there. On 14 May one of the photographers, Alexei Solodeinikov, discussed with visitors technical questions of photographing the rock paintings.
The aim of the exhibition was to raise awareness among society and particularly students about very real problems Ė Shulgan-Tash is practically the only Paleolithic site today in Russian Territory but the cave paintings in Kapovaya Cave are being destroyed.