“Ukok Princess” will return to Altay, but will not be exposed

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„Princess Ukok” will return to her homeland by helicopter, but her ash will not be exposed in the museum”, — Vladimir Sakpachakov, the director of the National Anokhin Museum in Gorno-Altaysk informed the journalists. Instead of the mummy its wonderful mannequin will be exposed in the burial.

Authorities promised to return “Ukok Princess” to the Altay people yet in 2011. For this reason the works on reconstruction of the National Museum were started: an extension to the museum was built (for this purpose “Gazprom” has assigned 250 mln rubles) and the expensive equipment for supporting the necessary facilities for its storage was bought. It seemed like even an ethic aspect was considered – the mummy burial would be placed under the ground level, so that the princess was as it is called “buried”. It seemed like everything was ready and everything was foreseen. And suddenly a new change has come – the “Princess Kadyn” mummy will be kept in the museum storage and will be accessible only to the scientists. Regarding curious visitors of the museum, they will just see its mannequin. Also another aspect is curious: the mummy will “move” (to be more precise will “fly”) to its residence point without any “clothes”. Wonderful clothes of the mummy and the things, by which the princess was surrounded in the barrow Ak-Аlaha - 3 will be stored in the Museum of history and culture of the people of Siberia and Far East in Novosibirsk. In December the museum researchers will visit the Archeological and Ethnographical Institute of the Siberian RAS Department for consultations and examination of the princess’ clothes for further copy fabrication.

One should mention that since the moment of discovering of the Ukok mummy there have been running restless political fires around the subject. Many political leaders score their points and earned popularity by appealing to get the mummy back to her homeland. And the current decision of authorities is halved and compromising. It won’t satisfy that part of the electorate, which demanded of the princess’ burial. This part of population is against the fact that scientists will touch the princess and make further investigations of her body.

Hereafter the specialists from the All-Russian research Institute of the medicinal and aromatic plants (ARIMAP) will be involved into the conservation and preserving the mummy’s body. These procedures are quite expensive, so after the mummy’s delivery to Gorno-Altaysk these manipulations will be paid by Altai Republic.

Note. “The Altay princess was discovered by the archeologists from Novosibirsk on the plateau Ukok in 1993 and transported to the laboratory of the Archeological and ethnographic Institute of the Siberian RAS department. Currently the body of “Princess of Ukok” and the artifacts, found in her burial place (the barrow Ak-Alaha-3), like clothes, accessories etc., can be seen in the Academic camp of Novosibirsk, in the Museum of history and culture of Siberian and Far East people”. 

In the 90-ies certain public circles of Gorny Altay demanded of returning the mummy to the Republic Altay and its burial. Shaman scared people by predicting that if this doesn’t happen, numerous calamities will threaten Altai (and the violent earthquake of 2003 perfectly fit in this plan). The archeologists of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SO RAS were for years barred from excavations of cryosolic barrows in Ukok.


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