"it looks like raining... I am afraid to get wet before we enter," a girl says to a young man next to her. "Don't be, our turn is next," he calms her down. The dialogue happens on Saturday night, and not in front of a disco club, but near a museum.

The night of May 18/19 was not usual. On the International Museum Day the whole world held the action "Night at the museum". This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society. These recent years, International Museum Day has been experiencing its highest involution with almost 30,000 museums that organised activities in more than 120 countries.

Many Ukrainian museums joined the action and were letting visitors in free of charge. ForUm decided to spend the night in the "Kyiv history museum".

People started gathering in front of the museum around 6 p.m. The crowd was big, about 200 people. The museum could not host all at once, and the guards were letting people in portions - about 50 visitors at a time.

The tour about the city history was held by not a regular guide, but by a student of Fundukleyevski high school Natalia Menshova, who would become a famous Ukrainian historian in the future - Natalia Polonska-Vasylenko.

The guests learned how the city looked like in the times of Rus' and what its citizens were doing back then. These are medieval Kyiv residents.

Regular craftsmen are discussing taxes, work and prices. As we see, back then people worried about the same things as nowadays.

Then there was the turn of Nestor the Chronicler, who tells about how Rus' was baptized. The monk was criticizing idle existence of certain Kyiv residents, speaking against traveling minstrels and calling their musical instruments the "demonic temptations".  

After the speech Nestor immersed into study and did see a nosy parker peeking in his chronicles. 

This is famous actress Maria Zankovetska rehearsing her role. Visitors are asked not to disturb her.

Meanwhile, fine ladies of the beginning of the 20th century are walking around the museum discussing Parisian fashion and daring wardrobe of Parisians. 

However, not only women were interested in fashion. Golokhvastv in person was telling the guests about his new suit.

A bit of  commercial about the newest photo camera...

The majority of characters of the night are not actors, but museum workers and their relatives.

They admit the tension is high and it is not easy to deal with stage fright. Gratitude of visitors, however, is worth the effort. In the end, the important thing is that on Saturday summer night people are more interested in museums than in pubs and bars.

Alina Yeremeyeva, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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