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erotic museum 'remembers' rasputin

Published: August 6, 2004 (Issue # 992)



  • The Prostatology Centre and Erotic Museum originator, Dr Igor Knyazkin, stands in the company of friends.
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

An Erotic Museum in the middle of St. Petersburg? The metal plaque with the admittedly artistic, yet nonetheless raunchy logo of a 19th century professor-type and three naked ladies inter-linking their limbs at splendid angles, certainly causes a double-take as one strolls along Furshtatskaya Ulitsa. Yet, it is apparently a sign of the times.

For years, the Moscow mausoleum had chosen to preserve the country's great communist leader, Vladimir Lenin, doused in a balsam solution. Now, in a St. Petersburg prostatology clinic, which doubles up as Russia's first and only Erotic Museum, it is the genitalia of the great mythic healer (also drunk and disreputable debaucher) Grigory Rasputin, that is being preserved inside a jar.

This pickled member is just one of the 10,000 toys, statues, and figurines representing human private parts in the collection of Dr. Igor Knyazkin, the head doctor and originator of the Prostatology Center and its Erotic Museum. During the five years of the museums' existence, the collection has grown so substantial that only a tenth of it is on display at the clinic.

"The goal was not to shock anybody," explains Head of Research at the clinic, Dr. Gleb Gurko. "Men and women who come to us are gloomy and embarrassed. To have to come to a doctor has already made them feel uncomfortable. Then they arrive, they see these cheerful exhibits and their mood lightens. When they start to tell the doctor about their ailment they are already at ease and it is much simpler to get the problems understood and sorted."

Strolling around, it is unclear where the clinic ends and the museum begins, so opulently are the corridors, shelves, and walls adorned with tantalizing images. Even the toilet's decor, as well as wall mirrors, includes "Toilet.Cam" posters depicting all the titillation a mind may desire to see in a cubicle.

With such a palette for the inquiring mind, how does a patient remember what brought them here?

"Oh, our staff are very professional," comments Gurko, as a smiling nurse in a short white uniform dress walks by. "But, generally, many of our patients show a positive interest in the exhibits, asking questions about them, where they are from, and so on. Some people also ask if they too can donate something to the collection, postcards or some figurine or toy that they appropriated on their travels."

Although feedback from patients and the museum's visitors have been overwhelmingly positive, there have been extreme cases.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.