|Art gallery news||Nikolai Shmatko|
Complete crush of hopes of the King of Marble in Zakarpatye
Nikolai Shmatko believed that friendly relations with the Ukrainian politician and businessman V.I. Baloga would be a great joy for him; it seemed that he had waited for this person for 35 years. Hearty meetings and new opportunities to do a creative work and to enrich this land with the new tendencies in the sphere of tourism, and, of course, to involve the creative society to the mutual activity gave him great hopes and expectations.
"At our meeting, V.I. Baloga said that he would build an art gallery and an attached place of residence for my family; that he would introduce me to the influential people and would bring me to their circle. Yet he proposed me to place my works in the castle and make it the residence of the King of Marble. I thought that the tourism field would become more active here, and the town of Mukachevo would become a better place. But when Viktor Ivanovich had helped me to move my family and my huge gallery, he never got interested in us any longer", – says Nikolai Shmatko.
"Of course, I was telling people here and there about the great prospect to be opened on the basis of my creative work and with the support of Baloga", – says Nikolai Shmatko.
Before the elections, Nikolai Shmatko placed an exhibition of his sculptures in the centre of Mukachevo at the instance of Viktor Baloga, and also he created the sculpture of Bacchus especially for the vine festival. But, when visiting these holidays, Viktor Ivanovich did not even pay attention to the author.
As the time went by, I realized that we were caught into a trap of Baloga, and that he wanted to get rid of us in any chance! Now it is totally out of the question to build any gallery, so it all has collapsed like a house of cards. There was nothing to talk about, as he did not even come to visit the storehouse and to see what I had brought!" – says the sculptor.
Today the question is: what should I do here now?
During the winter, Nikolai Shmatko was working in the storehouse, where all his collection of art work was kept, and where it was wet, cold and freezing.
The pictures and expensive frames are in poor condition, and two marble sculptures have been damaged.
There is neither house nor home, but just mud thrown at him.
Nevertheless, the sculptor says that he has met many interesting and open-minded people in Zakarpatye. It is just one of the pages to be turned: it is covered with mud, but one can read there, how Viktor Baloga met Nikolai Shmatko, deceived him, and caused an enormous moral and spiritual damage to him.
As N. Shmatko says: "Now Viktor Baloga is ready to throw us aside in order to get rid of the existing problem".
Mukachevo, 09.04.2013 (photos of Rafael Shmatko)