In the ship that sank off the coast of the Crimea, Ivan Aivazovsky’s can

In the ship that sank off the coast of the Crimea, Ivan Aivazovsky’s can
13 May 2019, Monday

At the bottom of the Black Sea, perhaps, are paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky. Divers found in the cabin of the paddle steamer "General Kotzebue", which sank in 1895, about a dozen fragments of paintings in frames - presumably, among them may be the paintings of the great marine painter.


Archaeologists from the expedition "Neptune", who made this discovery, submitted an application to raise the paintings from the sunken ship. “Experts suggest that these may be paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky. We will continue the expedition, we have submitted an application to the Presidential Grants Fund, ”said the head of the expedition, Roman Dunayev.


Where did the assumptions come from that on the sunken ship can be exactly the canvases of a famous artist? The fact is that “General Kotzebue” participated in the opening of the Suez Canal, and then Ivan Aivazovsky was on board to capture this historical fact. And the artist used to give his works to the crew when he was on a ship.


“General Kotzebue” sank in 1895, having encountered another vessel. And was discovered a few miles from Cape Tarkhankut only after almost 120 years, in 2015. Since then, expeditions have been regularly sent to him. During one of these expeditions, the Crimean divers under the direction of Dunaev discovered the paintings.


According to Dunaev himself, they could have survived under a layer of silt, which is an excellent preservative.


Some restorers believe that it is unlikely to be able to restore the paintings - after they had spent so much time in the salty Black Sea water. Others say that with the current development of science there is no impossible.


“Of course, nothing definite can be asserted until you see these canvases,” the deputy general director of the Scientific and Restoration Center named after him told MK. I.E. Grabar Alexander Lesovoy. - But in our center there was the experience of restoring almost completely burnt paintings during a fire in 2010. There only coals remained from the paints, but the canvas has the ability to memorize the paint layer - and the specialists restored this layer with the help of a specially developed composition in full.


True, serious doubts remain about the very existence of the paintings on the wreck.


“No one saw them. According to the video, there you can see only the frame from the pictures. In order to investigate them in detail, they need to be raised - and we still have no right to do so, ”said Sergey Kazannik, director of the Black Sea Underwater Research Center.

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