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Marking eighty years since Pushkin Town was liberated from the Nazi occupation on 24 January 1944, Catherine Palace Tour 1 offers the Liberation of Pushkin Town exhibition on the first floor of the palace until 1 April 2024.

The exhibition tells about the defence, occupation and liberation of Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo) town during WWII and about the post-war rebuilding of the destroyed palaces and parks. On display are over fifty objects, many of them newly, from the Tsarskoe Selo Collection and several private collectors, as well as photographs provided by the State Memorial Museum of the Defence and Siege of Leningrad, the Pushkin Town History and Literature Museum, the Krasnogorsk Russian State Film and Photo Archive, and RIA Novosti. 

Pictures of the 1930s show the town as a popular destination for visitors from St Petersburg (then Leningrad) and all over the country. From the Nazi invasion in late June and through mid-September 1941, the most valuable furnishings from the palaces and pavilions of Tsarskoe Selo were evacuated to the interior of the country or moved to St Isaac's Cathedral in Leningrad. The remaining parts of the collection were hidden in the basement of the Catherine Palace. Most of the park sculptures were hidden underground in the parks.

During the Nazi occupation from 17 September 1941 to 24 January 1944, the townspeople were evicted, many died from famine or execution. Units of the Wehrmacht, SS and the Spanish Blue Division were located in the palaces and parks. On display are photos of 1942 and a German horse bit found on the Catherine Palace's first floor which served as a stable, as well as a fragment of a large-caliber shell found embedded in a Catherine Park tree last year.

Also on display:
- a hand-carved wooden trench cane with German inscriptions, donated to our museum by a descendant of a Spanish veterinarian who served in the Blue Division in the Pushkin area;
- personal belongings, documents, weapons and awards of Soviet soldiers who liberated Pushkin in January 1944;
- war documents and awards of Alexander Kedrinsky, who was our museum's head architect and author of Catherine Palace Restoration Project;
the original sculpture 'Girl with a pitcher' from a famous fountain in the Catherine Park.

We also dedicate this exhibition to Victoria Plaude, Tsarskoe Selo head of photo and negative collection who worked on the exhibition but tragically died not long before its launch. She was a granddaughter of Anatoly Kuchumov, who was in charge of the museum's evacuation in 1941 and of the post-war search for stolen artefacts.