Vsevolod Shilovsky

People’s artist of RSFSR

During the years when Heydar Aliyev served as the Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union, the main building of the Moscow Art Theater on Kamerger Street was in need of complete reconstruction. This required a large sum of money. Therefore, we appealed to the Council of Ministers. I was also part of the delegation, consisting of the leadership of the theater. I was responsible for organizing the reconstruction of the building.

We were invited to a meeting of the Council of Ministers. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union Heydar Aliyev. The case was very difficult from a financial point of view, so a certain choice had to be made: either they would allocate the amount that was needed, or we should give up hope.

Sitting at the head of the table in a huge hall, Heydar Aliyev said: “The issue is related to the Moscow Art Theater. It shouldn’t be left in negligence. Our task is to inquire the issue and make a decision on financing.” He made a decision. At the same meeting, we were allocated 25 million dollars. Not small money! That I call sincere attitude to art. I’ve lived a long life and it’s hard to impress me. I no longer believe in words, but in deeds. In all public positions that he has held so far, Heydar Aliyev has always taken care of cultural figures not only of Azerbaijan but also of Russia and other republics of the former USSR, including the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre, which has rich traditions and is one of the cradles of the Russian theater school. This person did great and noble deeds throughout his life.