Tourists from all over the world come to look at the dead Ukrainian city, which has survived a tragedy on a global scale. Emergency houses that are living their last days, legendary houses, cafes, and other infrastructure facilities create a special atmosphere. But they are on the brink of destruction, and every year, month, and even day can be their last.
The authorities set out to attract a million tourists to Chornobyl in five years. Some of the objects will be subject to conservation (their original appearance will be preserved), some – museumification. This year they plan to start renovating the first three objects: the Prypyat cafe, the bus station, and one 16-storey building.
A cozy cafe near the river with unique stained-glass windows was once a favorite resting place for many residents of the small town. It was here that in 1977 the builders celebrated the launch of the first power unit of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, organized loud celebrations, and rested with friends and family. The cafe is connected with the building of the river station by a semicircular canopy. Therefore, here passengers spent their time waiting for high-speed passenger hydrofoil boats "Rocket" or "Meteor". Now "Prypiat" weakly resembles a cafe, and all that remains of it is a burnt-out signboard, empty walls are overgrown with greenery, and broken glass.
Now it is not recommended to come close to the walls of the cafe because of its emergency condition. During the reconstruction, the building is planned to be made safer for tourists, and the unique stained-glass windows depicting a girl, flowers, sun and planet will be preserved.
Going down the stairs to the pier where ships once stopped, you can see the burial point for radioactive waste - "Sandy Plateau". It was on this site that the sixth microdistrict of Prypyat was to be built.
The bus station is located behind the southern part of the first residential area of Prypyat. Once upon a time, intercity bus routes were made from this place to Kyiv, Mozyr, Ovruch, Malyn, Ivankiv, Dytyatky, and Chornobyl. There was also a suburban service to the nearest settlements. A record number of trips were made on May 21, 1982. During the day, the Prypyat bus station received and dispatched 52 bus routes to 14 different directions.
Now, at a once important location, there is a pile of broken glass. The windows are painted, animals roam the station. You cannot go inside because of the accident rate and radioactivity. Within the framework of the "Velyke Budivnystvo. Chornobyl" project, they plan to replace the windows and, in general, make the facility safer.
If everything is more or less clear with the previous objects, then there are a number of questions about the art museum in the apartment of Lieutenant Volodymyr Pravyk. What exactly do they plan to restore there, what exhibits will be presented and why was this particular figure chosen to create the museum?
Volodymyr Pravyk was a Soviet firefighter and lieutenant of the internal service. He arrived to extinguish the fire two minutes after the explosion of the reactor because he was the chief of the guard on duty. Volodymyr Pravyk immediately sent fire brigades to the roof of the turbine hall of the 4th unit of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and then he himself proceeded to extinguish the fire. That is, it was Lieutenant Pravyk who helped save the remaining blocks of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant from a possible fire. He worked at the destroyed reactor for about one hour and twenty minutes. The radiation dose was fatal. Lieutenant Prayik died two weeks later at the age of 24.
For courage, heroism, and selfless actions shown during the liquidation of the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, by the decree of the Presidium of the USSR Armed Forces of September 25, 1986, Volodymyr Pravyk was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Now in the apartment of the firefighter, who sacrificed his life for the elimination of the accident, they plan to make an art museum.
History also mentions Vasyl Ignatenko, Viktor Kibenko, and other heroes who deserve special respect and memory no less. However, it turned out to be more convenient to restore Pravyk's apartment, because it is located in a house where the observation deck is also being restored.
The lieutenant's apartment is not much different from dozens of other Soviet apartments in abandoned Prypyat. Pravyk grew up as an ordinary Soviet boy in a working class family. Vladimir's relatives have not preserved his children's drawings, any medals or awards. In the documentary film "Mother's Heart" Natalya Ivanovna said: all that remained after the death of her son was a homemade postcard, with which he congratulated his mother on March 8th.
So far, the team of the Chornobyl Conservation project does not have a clear idea of what Pravyk's apartment will soon become. Most likely, it will be an art object, not a museum. It is possible that we will see an artificially created sample of a typical Soviet apartment.
But first it is necessary to find the hero's relatives, emphasizes the adviser to the Minister of Environmental Protection on the development of the exclusion zone Lala Tarapakina. As you know, the hero's mother died back in 2017. In the living - the widow of Pravyk Nadia, daughter Natalia and brother Victor.
Also next in line is the reconstruction of the Dytyatki checkpoint and the creation of a Chornobyl hub on the site of the former service station. Schneider noted that projects will be created this year, and the construction itself will be completed in 2021.
In the future, they also plan to renovate the Prometheus cinema, the river station, the Polisia hotel, and the Energetik Palace of Culture.
In addition, much attention is paid to the infrastructure of the zone. This year, they want to install a video surveillance system and equip five toilets along the tourist routes.
In total, UAH 30 million was allocated for the Chornobyl revitalization program in 2021. According to the operational director of the project office Ilona Schneider, the budget for exploration work is from 8,000 to 6,000 USD, design – up to 40,000 USD, depending on the object. The construction part of the conservation work will be carried out next year.
Some projects are also planned to attract investors. However, to which one it is not yet known.