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New museum in Semey to honour nuclear testing victims

27 August 2012 11:40
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SEMEY. August 27. KAZINFORM On August 27 to 29 Kazakhstan will host the international conference "From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World", part of which will be held in Semey, including a ground-breaking ceremony for the unique Museum of Peace located at Polkovnichiy Island in the city.

This event is scheduled on the occasion of the UN International Day against Nuclear Testing on August 29, 2012. The construction process is scheduled to be completed one year later. At this stage, the project's architects are presenting their plans to the residents of Semey, the Astana Times reports.

The museum's construction costs are estimated at more than one billion tenge and will be provided by the government. The crystal-ball-shaped building will be five stories tall with a height of 34 metres and a diametre of 24 metres, and will rest in the palms of hands, demonstrating the fragility of life and the need for careful stewardship of the environment. The foundation of the ball in the form of two palms of hands will be made from iron and granite, while the building itself will be constructed of glass.

"The distinctive feature of the museum is the application of solar energy," architect Askhat Bakirov said. "The second floor will host The Semipalatinsk Test Site: 1949-1991 art gallery and a 3D cinema. A large conference hall will be constructed on the third floor, capable of hosting large international forums, and will include the first winter garden in the town. In addition, the building will include showrooms and a museum of test site history."

The presentation of the Museum of Peace project was held in the House of Friendship where special features of the forthcoming construction were presented to veterans, public organizations' representatives,ethno-cultural centres, and mass media. According to the project's authors, the infrastructure of the museum will be developed alongside the museum. The project's plans also include a concert site, kymys house, ethnic village, fountain, and parking.

"In the year of the 10th anniversary of the Decree of President Nursultan Nazarbayev on closing the Semey nuclear test site, the monument Stronger than Death was constructed, the creator of which is Honored Architect of Kazakhstan Shota Ualikhanov," chief architect of the project Kaldybek Kokilanov said. "The territory for construction was selected on purpose. Initially, plans were to build a whole memorial complex at Polkovnichii Island because free space was needed around the monument."

Polkovnichii Island has experienced a rebirth thanks to the events carried out there. One of which was a meeting at which President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to declare August 29 the International Day against Nuclear Testing, which was hosted here in 2009. Last year the event took place on the island in the framework of an International Forum "For a Nuclear Weapons Free World". This year, members of the international organization Mayors for the Peace opened a memorial here.

Participants in the presentation of the plans for the proposed museum were impressed by the project. Only a few concerns were raised. Among them was a suggestion to not force the completion of difficult processes on the basis of limited time. The development of bus routes to the memorial and a direct route to the memorial from the left bank of the city were also suggested. Other issues raised included funding for the building's maintenance and the amount of entrance fees for the museum.

Read more here http://www.astanatimes.kz/

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