The President Has Entered the Building! The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center and Memorial Tradition in Contemporary Russia
Ekaterina Boltounova’s article analyzes historical narrative as presented at the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, a memorial complex dedicated to the first president of Russia. The idea, which was conceived after Boris Yeltsin’s death in 2007, seems to be an example of truly global thinking, modeled on American presidential memorials. The center was founded not in Moscow but in Yekaterinburg, where the future president’s political career began. An American company was hired to carry out the project according to the best world standards. Boltounova reveals the story of the develop-ment of the exposition’s narrative and interprets its semiotics of power. At the same time, she points to a competing local historical scenario represented by a church-sponsored cult of Nicholas II. Boltounova claims that the center, in a conscious effort to overcome the Soviet imperial legacy, drew on an archaic political scenario of the sacralization of supreme power, or rather – the personality of the ruler.