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When the Volga Was a Sea

The Museum of the World Ocean is launching a  project that will move you hundreds of millions of years back – to the mysterious Mesozoic and Cretaceous Periods.

The exhibition is devoted to the prehistoric sea reptiles which existed in the period when the Volga was a sea. You’d be surprised but there was a vast sea basin with picturesque archipelagoes in the present-day Volga Region circa 200—66 million years ago. It was inhabited by diverse predatory species of reptiles or “the marine reptiles of the Mesozoic Era” – ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, saltwater crocodiles and mosasaurs.  A new exhibition at Depth presents the ecosystem from the distant past and exotic sea reptiles of the Mesozoic Era who left the planet for good.

The exhibition features original palaeontological items, associated fauna and the cephalopods (a squid and ammonites). We are sure, you will be impressed by a half-meter Prognathodon jaw – the largest ever found in Russia (circa 90 million years) – as well as a preserved Belemnotheutis (extinct squid) with mummified soft tissues (circa 165 million years).

But, probably, the most intriguing exhibits are life-size mock-ups of the Paraophthalmosaurus (ichthyosaur) and the Elasmosaurus (long-necked plesiosaur) created by paleoartist Mikhail Shekhanov and assistant professor Maxim Arkhangelkii (Department of General Geology and Minerals, Faculty of Geology, Saratov State University).

The Aral: the Lost Sea


1974A new solo exhibition by Vladimir Gladkov titled ‘The Aral: the Lost Sea’ featuring 42 art and graphic works is waiting for you  at the Art Gallery in Svetlogorsk.

As any keen person, the artist tries to see the world in its full diversity. This can explain author’s craving for knowledge, travels and new discoveries. Vladimir Gladkov’s series of works created during his trips to Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and other countries as well as those presented at the exhibition reveal the beauty and harmony of nature and human creation. But the focal point of the exhibition is the dying sea. The Aral we are losing step by step, still attracts artists. It gives an opportunity to create landscapes of deep philosophical message. As a result, every visitor can experience their own world view but make an identical conclusion – it is essential to safe vulnerable beauty of nature since we are one common together.

1980The exhibition is displayed till August 1, 2019.

See you at the Art Gallery of the Maritime Exhibition Hall (The Amber Hall, 11 Lenina Street, Svetlogorsk, Russia).

About the artist
Vladimir Gladkov was born in Tashauz (Turkmenistan) on May 12, 1947. He studied art in Tashkent. He studied painting by I.Sokolov at P.Benkov Tashkent School of Fine Arts and by V.Zhdanov at the Tashkent State Institute of Pedagogy (Faculty of Art and Graphics). Gladkov has participated in exhibitions since 1978. In 1988, he joined the Union of Artists of the USSR. His first solo exhibition was held in Tashkent in 1979.1984 Over the period of 1978 to the present day, Gladkov has organized 12 solo exhibitions in Tashkent, Minsk and Athens. His works can be found both in private collections all around the world and in depositories in Uzbekistan, Belorussia, UK, Turkey, etc.


A Study of the Reseacher

A memorial exhibition devoted to the 90 th anniversary of Rudolf Abramov (1929-2016), marine meteorologist, who had worked at the Atlantic Branch of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS for 52 years, was opened at Maritime Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad exhibition hall.

The exhibition A Study of the Researcher features books by Rudolf Abramov, his archives and historic
artifacts as well as reveals his profound personality and many-sided interests. His most striking and fruitful period in life is the participation in oceanographic expeditions where he studied sea currents with messages in the bottle, made hourly observations, put notes in the diary and drew sketches in the album. Later, these notes became a basis for his popular science books.

He was a full member of the Geographical Society of the USSR (from 1964), a Candidate of Geographic Sciences (from 1967); in 1966 to 2000, he took part in dozens of research expeditions on board the Soviet and Russian research vessels: Akademik Kurchatov, Dmitrii Mendeleev, Akademik Mstislav Keldysh and Professor Shtokman. He supervised the ‘Atlas of Recurrence of Cloud Systems Over the Tropical Atlantic’ (1973). The researcher was awarded the Honorary Diploma by the Russian Geographical Society for his ‘Atlas of Temperatures of the Atlantic Energy Active Zones’ (1996). He became one of the first members of the Vityaz’s Friends Club (1989) and made daily observations of weather and water conditions on board the museum vessel (1995—2016). From the mid-1990s in the summertime, he monitored the Baltic Spit, managed to introduce such monitoring at a biological station in Rybachii (Curonian Spit) and now and then made observations of Cape Severnii (Russian: northern) near the Vistula Lagoon.

People Of The Sea

A unique ethnographic exhibition – People of the Sea – is waiting for you at the Maritime Exhibition Centre in Svetlogorsk.

A unique ethnographic collection moves visitors to the world of primitive tribes, mystery religions and excellent handicraft by native artists. About 1 000 items – cult objects, masks, puppets, weapons – were collected by a German traveler in Indonesia (New Guinea, Java, Timor, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali) as well as in India, China and Nepal  in the 1960s-90s. These people’s life is closely interrelated with the sea, so it is clearly seen in the materials, symbols and themes. According to the ethnographers, it is one of the five best collections in Europe. In 2015, a Russian entrepreneur and patron V.Shcherbakov acquired the collection and lent it to the Museum of the World Ocean for a display.  Guests have already got to know a small part of the collection at the Maritime Exhibition Centre. Some exhibits are exclusive and displayed in Russia for the first time.

The exhibition is located on two levels: on the ground floor one can get to know unique primitive cultures of New Guinea: Asmat and Dani tribes. Exhibits devoted to the culture and art of Bali, Hindustan and Southeast Asia will be presented in the largest hall.


To the Depth


The Museum of the World Ocean invites you to the new exposition “Depth” located in the museum depository building and outside.  Here you can see the collections of barometers, current meters, hydrophysic probes, underwater cameras, optical tools, etc. But the main exhibits are the submersible manned vehicle “Mir-1” and one of the biggest sperm-whale skeletons in the world.  It order to put the legendary vehicle in the building it was necessary to lay special durable industrial flooring. Moreover, a special 4 x 4-meter doorway was made since sometimes “Mir” will have to leave the museum and make breathtaking descents.

The expositions answers many questions: how to measure depth, what vehicles are needed to dive at great depth, whether the life exists at maximum depth, etc.

Visitors can also watch fascinating videos devoted to exploration of the oceanic depth. 

Moreover, visitors can climb into a descent module (space capsule), “Tethys” submersible, and pressure chamber. Interesting facts about the “Mir” submersibles “Mir” is a self-propelled deep submergence vehicle. The project was initially developed by the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the Russian Academy of Sciences) along with Design Bureau "Lazurith". Later two vehicles were ordered from Finland. The “Mir-1” and “Mir-2”, delivered in 1987, were designed and built by the Finnish company “Rauma-Repola's Oceanics” subsidiary. The project was carried out under the supervision of constructors and engineers of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. The “Mir” submersibles can dive to a maximum depth of 6,000 metres. The carrier and command centre of both “Mir” submersibles is the R/V “Akademik Mstislav Keldysh”. The two “Mir” units are operated by the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1987-2005, 35 expeditions in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean were made with the “Mir” submersibles, nine of them were devoted to consequence management of the atomic submarines “Komsomolets” and “Kursk” wrecks. 

In the mid 1990s and early 2000s, the “Mir” vehicles were used by Canadian film director James Cameron to film the wreck of the RMS “Titanic”, resting at a depth of 3,821 meters, for his 1997 film “Titanic” and documentaries such as “Ghosts of the Abyss”, and to film the wreck of the “Bismarck”, resting at a depth of 4,700 meters, for his 2002 documentary film “Expedition: Bismarck”.

On December, 24 2003 Anatoliy Sagalevich, Director of the Russian Deepwater submersibles Laboratory, was awarded an “Underwater Oscar” by the American Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences at the scientific council of P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

On August, 2007 the “Mir” submersibles performed the first manned descent to the seabed under the Geographic North Pole to a depth of 4 300 meters. On the seabed “Mir-1” planted a one meter tall rustproof flag of Russia and left a time capsule containing a message for future generations. The submersibles experienced pressure of 430 atmospheres that was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

In August-September, the submersibles “Mir-1” and “Mir-2” made 60 dives in various points of Baikal. In 2009, 100 submersions were made. 

In 2011, the submersibles “Mir-1” and “Mir-2” explored Lake Geneva, one of the largest European lakes.

General characteristics

Test depth 6 000 m

Energy supply 100 kW/h

Life support supply 246 operator hours

Maximum speed 5 kn

Buoyancy reserve (on surface) 290 kg

Displacement 18.6 t

Length 7.8 m

Beam (with side motors) 3.8 m

Height 3 m

Complement 3 persons


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