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M. Denisov.

The original plaque was lost, but instead a similar one will be installed, dismantled from another building in the 1970s and preserved to this day.

In 2021, on the facade of the former main house of T.F. Eminsky will return the historic badge of honor of the Society for Assistance to Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction (Osoaviakhim, or OAH). The building is located at: Pokrovka street, house 14/2, building 1. This was reported by Alexey Emelyanov, head Department of cultural heritage of the city of Moscow.

The historical plaque on the façade was lost several years ago. Instead, after restoration, a similar one will be installed, dismantled from another building in the 1970s and preserved to this day.

Residents of this house and municipal deputies of the Basmanny District have asked to return the plate to the Moscow City Heritage Site.

“The plaque installed on the facade of the building was lost several years ago under unknown circumstances. These emblems are not included in the protection of monuments, so it is not easy to trace their fate. At the Moscow City Heritage Site, we began to study the issue of finding analogs for reconstruction. At the same time, with the assistance of the Fund for Major Repairs, another plate of Osoaviakhim was discovered – it was stored in a warehouse. The house on which it was installed was located in Elizavetinsky Lane and was demolished in the 1970s. All this time, the sign was carefully preserved, ”said Alexey Emelyanov.

According to him, the sign for replacement needs restoration. It is covered with numerous layers of paint, but generally well preserved. In the near future it will be put in order and restored to its original appearance. This will be done by specialists from the Association of Russian Restorers.

“The found historical emblem, which will be installed on the former estate of Eminsky, requires restoration. The surface of the badge will have to be cleaned of numerous late paint layers, work has to be done to strengthen the gypsum, to make up for defects and minor losses in the stucco decoration and, at the very end, to paint the surface of the emblem according to the found historical colors. This project is very important for the Association of Restorers, because this is how, by small steps and by the efforts of interested people, valuable monuments are preserved, “noted Maria Pologova, architect-restorer, representative of the Association of Restorers of Russia.

The updated plaque will be installed on the building on Pokrovka after the preservation of the facades is completed in 2021.

This is not the first case of the return of the Osoaviakhim signs: in 2018-2019, three of the same plaques were restored in the Tagansky District with the assistance of the Moscow City Heritage Agency on the initiative of local residents and municipal deputies. Also, a similar recreated emblem returned to the facade of building 16 on Pyatnitskaya Street.

“The Osoaviakhim sign was considered honorable, people really tried and made efforts to get the right to place it on their home. This is a part of our history, which must be preserved without fail – not many will now remember the idea that really united a lot of people, ”added Aleksey Emelyanov.

The social and political organization “Society for Assistance to Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction” (Osoaviakhim) appeared in the Soviet Union in January 1927 and existed for almost a quarter of a century – until 1948. From the first weeks of its formation, it aroused interest, especially among young people, and therefore in 1928 the presidium of the central council considered the issue of the emblem and badge of a member of the society. Until the end of the year, the development of the brand name was underway – the adopted sketch was published in the press at the beginning of 1929. The artist and sculptor Georgy Alekseev became its author. The badge looked like a five-pointed red star, against the background of which there were a sickle, a hammer, a gear, a sheaf of ears, a propeller, a rifle and a gas mask – symbols of defense. At the bottom of the tape there is an inscription “Strengthening the defense of the USSR”.

They decided to place wall signs with the same symbols on houses. They had to report that the residents of the house, including children from 12 years old, passed the standards “Ready for PVHO” (air and chemical defense) of the first stage and that for every 100 residents of the house there is at least one marked with the “Ready for PVHO” icon the second stage, and one instructor for sealing dwellings for protection from toxic substances.

There were three types of plates: small (22.5 by 22.5 centimeters), medium (50 by 50 centimeters), and large (100 by 100 centimeters). The size of the board was determined by the number of members of the Osoaviakhim in each particular house. The buildings that housed a gas shelter and an observation tower could deserve the greatest, there were no fire-hazardous corridors, basements, attics and whose residents regularly successfully conducted exercises.

The society introduced citizens (especially of pre-conscription age) to the basics of military affairs, taught how to use weapons, drive vehicles and keep themselves in proper physical shape. In circles, lecture halls, flying clubs, shooting galleries and other “strong points” of the organization, people received the specialties of orderlies, telephone operators, telegraph operators, radio operators, drivers, parachutists and pilots.

Osoaviakhim’s successor was the organization “Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy” – DOSAAF of the USSR. Now in Russia, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation deals with issues of military-defense work and training the population within the framework of civil defense.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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