The exhibition is set up in such a way that visitors, especially children, can experience Buratino’s principal adventures along with him, visit the most important settings in the book, and take part in the action. Alexei Tolstoy’s The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino (1936), which was loosely based on The Adventures of Pinocchio, is a genuine apology for play. The puppets in this tale represent different childish temperaments, and it is with the puppet characters that children find it easy to identify. Exhibition visitors are constantly guided by Tolstoy’s text, presented in the form of quotations illustrating the key moments in Buratino’s adventures. The imagery is based solely on the outstanding original illustrations for The Golden Key, most of which are stored at the museum. The exhibition also features sound effects, animation, sensor systems and other advanced technologies.
After opening a door that doubles as a book cover, visitors enter the tale directly, setting out on an exciting journey through the book. There they can meet its characters, visible through the windows in an Italian town, find a talking log in Giuseppe’s workshop, put on a puppet show in Karabas’s theater, escape from pursuers in the forest at night, play with toy dishes in Malvina’s house, find themselves in a dark closet and crawl out of it through a rat hole, bury their money in the Field of Miracles, and fall into a pond in the Land of Fools and meet Tortilla the Turtle. They will have to endure a storm with thunder and lightning, take part in the battle under a pine tree, crawl (for real!) into a clay pot in the Three Minnows Tavern and overhear a secret, and then, after crawling into Papa Carlo’s closet, open the secret hatch behind the painted hearth and descend a steep, dark staircase to get to the magical Lightning Theater. That is where the journey ends: a kind of “self-service” theater, a place for free play where children are the actors, spectators, and protagonists of the performance.
Artistic concept and management: Alexander Reichstein
Ludmila Savchenko (project leader)