During the pandemic, the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center was turned into a hospital, the reserve beds for COVID-19 patients were deployed in almost all pavilions. The activities of the Exhibition Center were suspended. As a result, tens of thousands of Russian and foreign companies lost their platforms for promoting their products, the city budget missed millions of rubles in tax revenues, the implementation of social projects was curtailed and, the saddest thing, 300 people, for many of whom Sokolniki became a second home, lost their jobs.
Before the start of the pandemic, 277 events were held annually at Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center. The funds received from the center’s congress and exhibition activities are used by the Association of Private Museums of Russia. At present, despite all the difficulties, the employees of the center, on the instructions of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, are working on the formation of the Register of non-state museums, and also continue to publish the Private museums of Russia catalog. At the moment, the catalog contains information on 470 museums; another 700 are awaiting inclusion in its list. The catalog is published in Russian, Chinese and English. This is a kind of a guide to the country, which allows you to draw the attention of Russian and foreign tourists to the history, customs, traditions, achievements and way of life of the peoples of Russia.
The Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center houses the World Calligraphy Museum, the Museum of Russian Gusli and Chinese Guqin; due to the introduction of the self-isolation regime, the Chinese Calligraphy Museum, which collection contains works of prominent contemporary calligraphers of the Middle Kingdom, could not open. All museums have been paused. All of them are waiting for the opportunity to open their doors to visitors.
The management of the Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center was sympathetic to the decision of the Moscow government to re-equip the pavilions and office premises of the Congress and Exhibition Center as a hospital for patients with coronavirus, therefore, they very much hope that now that the epidemiological situation in the city has stabilized, the city authorities will meet them halfway and will withdraw part of the pavilions from the bed reserve. This means that Sokolniki will be able to reopen jobs, restore their unique creative team and return to exhibition activities.