Makhuldyur project in Crimea

Date: Mon, 09 Feb 98 17:50:09 -0500
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Subject: Makhuldyur project in Crimea

From: MINELRES moderator       <>

Original sender: Renart Sarnayev   <>

Makhuldyur project in Crimea

(From the moderator: Any advise on possible support for the project 
described below would be highly appreciated! Boris)

Association 'Makhuldyur'
Crimea, Ukraine
c/o Renart Sarnayev

The Cultural Ethnographic Center (CEC) Project Establishing an Open Air
Museum and a Center of Crimean Tatar Culture in Makhuldyur

I. Project summary:

The aim of this project is to convert Makhuldyur, a picturesque medieval
village, into an open air museum and a Crimean Tatars Cultural Center. The
beauty of the mountains surrounding Makhuldyur which is located in a prime
recreational area, will help attract tourists. Tourism, in turn, will allow
to reduce unemployment and revive the local economy.

II. Historical and cultural significance of Makhuldyur

Makhuldyur, which first appears in written sources in 1475, is a prominent
monument of Crimean Tatar culture, and represents the only preserved complex
of ancient rural architecture. After their forced deportation to Central
Asia and Siberia in 1944, Soviet authorities embarked on a systematic
destruction of Crimean Tatar culture whose scope and thoroughness brings to
mind the fate of Jewish heritage in Nazi-occupied Europe. Crimean Tatar
houses, mosques, schools and irrigation system were destroyed; books and
archives burned; names erased and replaced with the Russian ones. This
explains why Makhuldyur (officially renamed "Nagornoye") and a few other
preserved monuments, are of special symbolic significance to some 250,000
Tatars who returned to Crimea from the exile in the 1990s.

III. The site

Nestled in the picturesque coastal mountains, Makhuldyur is located 42 km
from Yalta and 38 km from Bakshichseray, and only 5 km from the highway
connecting them. It has 119 residents 50 of whom are Crimean Tatars. The
village is divided into two parts located 500 m apart. The old part consists
of 33 19th century 2-story houses that follow the same architectural design.
Foundations and first floor are built of solid stone while the second floor
features wooden frames filled with a mix of stone and clay. All houses have
tiled roofs. The old village also features the ruins of a 18th century
mosque, a 19th century school, an old cemetery, facilities for tobacco
drying, a large coffee house, well-preserved streets, solid stone gates and
orchards. The new part of the village consist of 10 houses built in the
1950s and 1960s, and a small, unfinished hotel abandoned by the investor.

III. Objectives of the Project

The project seeks to restore the old part of the village as a monument of 
Crimean Tatar culture. As an architectural complex, old Makhuldyur
represents an ideal site for an open air museum. It offers unique
possibilities as home to a collection of artifacts and display in a
spectacular setting in which traditions of the Tatar people can be shown "in
action." In addition to being a museum, the complex can also serve as a
cultural center in the broader sense: site of exhibits, festivals and other
cultural events. Taking advantage of its picturesque location in a prime
recreational area, once rebuilt, the center could attract tourists to the
village. Tourism, on turn,  would help revive local economy which is
depressed and shows no signs of recovery. Therefore, the Project includes
building two small hotels (including finishing the abandoned one) in the new
part of the village.

IV Estimated cost of the project

Land is cheap in Makhuldur and all home owners are willing to sell their
properties (houses as well as plots) for an average of 5,000 USD. Most
buildings are dilapidated and urgently need repair; a few houses are
abandoned. Architects set the average cost of fully restoring a typical  a
piece. According to experts from Danish Refugee Council who examined the
site, the complete of establishment of the CEC amounts between 2 and 2.5
million USD. A budget of this size would include:

* Preparation of an inventory and relevant documentation for
the entire village (50,000 USD).
* Conservation and restoration of historic buildings (1,500,000
* Organizational expenses (300,000).
* Infrastructural improvements that would make the village
suitable for tourism (600,000).

V. Project Organizers

The project is designed and administered by Association Makhuldyur (AM), an
NGO established by a group of Crimean Tatar historians, architects, artists
and art historians. Concerned by rapidly progressing decay of the site, the
Association seeks to preserve it for future generations of Crimean Tatars
and public at large. The activities of the Association are coordinated by
Renart Saranayev, an architect and landscape designer, who presides over a
board of  directors  consisting of historian Nariman Abdulvapov, Gulfire
Memetova (Crimean Institute of Management and Marketing), Elzara Ablyazova
and Shevket Salimshayev (both from the Crimean Institute of Law) and Oleg
Ageev, a computer scientist.

VI. Phase I of the Makhaldyur Project

Phase I of the Project will be completed in 8 months. During this period AM
will open and organize an office from which the CEC Project will be
administered. The office will be staffed by 4 full- time paid employees. and
several volunteer workers. Its staff will engage in the following
preparatory work:

* conducting ethnographic, sociological and archeological
* collecting relevant archival material and establishing an
* compiling a preliminary inventory of the site;
* researching and writing a report about the legal status of the
* designing a fundraising strategy,
* preparing grant applications to national and international
* establishing contact and cooperation with authorities at all
administrative levels;
* preparing publicity material for distribution by the media,
and potential contributors.

The total of 10,000 USD is necessary to meet these objectives. Detailed
budget for Phase I of the project available upon request.
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