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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, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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