Monday, 11 August 2008

World's smallest book in Kiev's Micro Miniatures Museum

If there was any justice in this world, Mykola Syadistry would be regarded as one of the greatest artists in history. Granted, the Ukrainian-born genius is hardly the best painter or sculptor the world has ever seen, but his achievements are huge.
Or, rather, they’re small. Very small. And that’s what makes them so unique.
In Kiev’s World Heritage-listed caves monastery (Kiev-Pechersk Lavra), there is a room given over to an exhibition of Syadistry’s ‘micro-miniature’ art. It’s essentially a museum packed with powerful microscopes and some very tiny (and very odd) masterpieces.
‘Long Live Peace’ (in Ukrainian), is engraved on a human hair. There are miniscule portraits of Ernest Hemingway and Yuri Gagarin, and Kobzar – claimed to be the world’s smallest book.
The latter has twelve pages, including some of Syadistry’s verse and a portrait of himself. It comes in at just 0.6 square millimetres.
Most impressive, however, are the golden chess set on a pin head and the picture of Russian composer V V Andreev. He is etched onto glass and fitted into one half of a poppy seed, while his balalaika fills the other half. For a sense of scale, information plaques tell the visitor that the strings of the balalaika in this picture are 40 times thinner than a man’s hair.

Getting to the Micro Miniature Museum in Kiev, Ukraine
Nearest international airport:
Kiev Borispol.
Using public transport: Get the Metro to Dnipro or Pecherska – it’s about a fifteen minute walk from both.
More information: Go to the Kiev caves monastery website.

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