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Russia to mark 80th anniversary of North Pole-1 by Arctic lessons and Arctic graffiti
© RIA Novosti. Alexander Natruskin

Russia to mark 80th anniversary of North Pole-1 by Arctic lessons and Arctic graffiti

In the run-up to the 80th anniversary in June 2017 of the North Pole-1 drifting ice station, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has carried out several socio-cultural projects dedicated to the exploration of the Arctic, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi said during a news conference at the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency.

On May 19, schools in Russia will conduct Arctic lessons entitled "The Arctic Region as Russia's Façade", which were organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.

"We must tell school children about the Arctic and the history of polar discoveries. This is important, considering that Russia and the USSR took a very active part in the exploration of the Arctic. Our children, those who are not familiar with this history, should know it inside out, or at least they should know when North Pole-1 was launched," Donskoi said. It is also necessary to acquaint school children with Russia's modern achievements in the Arctic, he added.

"Young people need this, if they take interest in the Arctic, in order to make up their minds as to where to further go or what interesting projects they could realize in their lifetime, when it comes for them to choose their career paths," the minister said.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the North Pole-1 drifting ice station, the Ministry of Natural Resources together with the Russian Environmental Chamber, with the support from the Moscow Government, will launch a graffiti project, The Arctic in City Streets. The first graffiti based on photos made by Yakov Khalin depict the North Pole-1 crewmembers. One of the walls of a building located at 5, Sretenka Street is already covered with graffiti.

According to the Environmental Chamber's Co-Chair and State Secretary Vadim Petrov, this will be a long-term project.

"We won't confine ourselves just to Moscow, I believe. We are planning this graffiti project in Murmansk and St. Petersburg as well. This will be a big and long-term project," he said.

The first polar research expedition on a drifting ice floe, North Pole-1, set out on its Arctic voyage on May 21, 1937. The crew was manned by four scientists — hydrologist Pyotr Shirshov, geophysicist Yevgeny Fyodorov, radio transceiver operator Ernst Krenkel and the station's commander Ivan Papanin. It took the ice floe 274 days to travel from the North Pole to Greenland. The North Pole-1 crew collected unique data that gave researchers clues about the nature of the North Pole and the processes occurring in that region.