Жизнь после смерти: тронные залы Российской империи в советское/постсоветское время (на примере Грановитой палаты Московского Кремля)
The article by Ekaterina Boltunova discusses a situation that is rarely addressed in studies of the politics of historical memory. Rather than focusing on the process of the “invention of tradition” (Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger) and the designation of “sites of memory” (Pierre Nora) in post-Soviet Russia, Boltunova shows what happens afterward, when politicians and the general public begin inhabiting the newly created spaces of important historical symbolism and fall under the influence of their recently created narratives. More specifically, the article focuses on ceremonial spaces related to tsars and emperors in Moscow and St. Petersburg: the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, St. Andrew Hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace (Moscow), St. Peter and St. George Halls in the Winter Palace (the Hermitage in St. Petersburg). Russian presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and Dmitry Medvedev felt it necessary to fashion their own ceremonial quarters in former imperial palaces by using and adapting the symbolism of spatial representation of past authority – even though those historical precedents themselves were the products of very recent architectural restorations. Once reconstructed, Russia’s historical memory of political grandeur has appealed in different ways to the main centers of power. While the government (president) feels more comfortable with symbolism of the imperial period, the Russian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate) has claimed representations of the pre-Petrine Moscow tsardom. Thus, the “invented traditions” acquire agency of their own.