French intellectuals rush to rescue Turgenev museum

Ivan Turgenev Museum, Bougival
French actors, public figures and writers have requested French culture minister, Frederic Mitterrand, protect the house and museum of Russian writer Ivan Turgenev in Bougival, France.

An open letter was published on Le blog du Musee Tourgueniev web site. As the letter says, a construction company plans to build in the park surrounding the museum, which “will destroy a memorial islet of Russia in France".

As the letter affirms, “Only a political decision can rescue this special place, where Russian and French writers united in their efforts to fight against slavery, riots, war and tortures”. The reference to Mitterand was signed by actress Marina Vlady, director and script writer for Robert Hossein, one of the founders of the museum, Jean-Claude Menoux, Countess Colette Tolstaya, the keeper of the museum, Aleksandr Zvigilsky, and other public figures.

The house in Bougival was bought by Turgenev in 1874. The writer lived there until he died on August 22, 1883. On the 100th anniversary of the writer’s death, his house was restored and officially became a museum in 1983.