Moscow’s iconic Melnikov House is to open its doors as a museum to the public for a testing phase on 3 December this year, according to a press release published today. Visitors will be given tours of the great avant-garde structure, in which furniture and other personal items belonging to the house’s architect Konstantin Melnikov and his son, the painter Viktor, will be on display. Plans to recreate the interior of the house at the time of Viktor Melnikov’s death in 2006 are currently in the works by museum staff.

The house has been the subject of bitter dispute between the architect’s two granddaughters, who have been locked in legal wranglings over the fate of the house. Architects and experts have warned about the serious structural damage of the property, calling for extensive renovations to be completed before it can opened as a museum. Last month, over 60 of Russia’s best-known architects, journalists and artists penned an open letter to Vladimir Medinsky, the Minister of Culture, urging him to postpone plans to turn the property into a museum.

The long-time resident of the house, Melnikov’s granddaughter Yekaterina Karinskaya and her family, were evicted from the property in August this year after returning home to find a number of private security guards stationed in and around the property refusing to let her in. She continues to dispute the eviction. 

Due to the precarious condition of the house, visits to the museum will only be possible as part of tour groups of up to five people.  

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