Libmonster ID: CN-1233


Doctor of Historical Sciences

Keywords: China, architect V. S. Andreev, Beijing and Shanghai exhibition centers, Chinese Embassy in Moscow

In the northwestern part of the Chinese capital, outside the second ring road in the Xizhimen district, next to the Beijing Zoo, stands a light 100-meter structure with a five-pointed star on a gilded spire. In its architectural appearance, it resembles the main pavilion of VDNKh in Moscow. The Chinese counterpart of the Soviet exhibition complex in the style of the "Stalinist Empire" appeared in the mid-1950s. thanks to the work of specialists from the USSR.

Over time, the Chinese have forgotten the name of the author of this magnificent building, which still plays the role of the architectural dominant of the area surrounded by the high-rise buildings of modern Beijing rushing up. The author of the article was convinced of this by interviewing residents of nearby houses and not finding a commemorative plaque on the building itself. And the architect of the Beijing Exhibition Center was V. S. Andreev (1905-1988).

In the 1950s and 1980s, V. S. Andreev was one of the leading architects of the Soviet Union. However, few people know about its structures on Chinese soil.


Viktor Semenovich Andreev was born in 1905 in Kharkiv. From an early age, the boy showed a thirst for knowledge and discovered various talents, including the ability to draw. This, apparently, determined his interest in architectural creativity. In addition, he lived in a city where grandiose construction began in the second half of the 1920s.

In those years Kharkiv was the capital of the Ukrainian SSR. Here, in 1930, the State Institute of Urban Design (Giprograd) was established with branches in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa, which drew up master plans for the development of cities and settlements in Ukraine.

After graduating from the Kharkiv State Art Institute, Andreev was involved in the creation of the master plan "Big Zaporozhye", which was built simultaneously with the construction of the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station and a number of large industrial facilities. 1 The young architect participated in the design of various buildings and residential complexes.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the USSR underwent major changes in the entire organization of urban development activities. In 1934, the All-Union Academy of Architecture was established in Moscow. Of the 164 people who applied for postgraduate studies, 24 were enrolled, including V. S. Andreev2.


After completing postgraduate studies in 1937, V. S. Andreev began a new creative life. It was very long and successful.

The most notable of its initial structures is the Mechanization pavilion at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (later VDNH) in Moscow, designed jointly with I. G. Taranov and N. A. Bykova. In 1954, the building was reconstructed: a huge arch made of mirror glass appeared with two plinths-towers, on which towered sculptures of a machine operator and a tractor driver. And the 75-meter-high glass dome of the building has become another architectural highlight of VDNKH, along with the main pavilion.

In 1949. Viktor Andreev was awarded the Stalin Prize * * 3rd degree in architecture for the reconstruction of a former apartment building (in the center of Moscow on Gorky Street, now Tverskaya, 11) - it housed the USSR State Committee for Science and Technology (now the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation). Since the early 1950s, the architect has been involved in the design of other objects. So, in 1954-1955, according to his project, the 7-storey building of the Embassy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (now the Czech Republic) in Moscow (12/14 Julius Fucik Street)was erected 3.

The buildings of V. S. Andreev acquire the characteristic features of the so-called "Stalinist neoclassicism" - fundamental, solemn and pompous, the presence of decorative elements in the spirit of historical architectural styles.


The Soviet Government has always paid great attention to promoting the experience of socialist construction and the achievements of the Soviet Union abroad. To this end, the USSR:-

* The pavilion was renamed twice: in 1956 - "Mashinostroenie", in 1963 - "Kosmos".

** The prize existed from 1941 to 1952. Since 1966 - the State Prize of the USSR.

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participated in various international exhibitions. V. S. Andreev was also involved in this work. So, in 1952, he designed the pavilion of the Soviet industrial exhibition at the international fair in Vienna (Austria) and reconstructed the building under the pavilion of the USSR at the Leipzig Fair in 1952.

Then Andreev was sent to China.

The prehistory of the appearance of Soviet exhibitions in China is as follows. During the 1952 visit to Moscow of one of the leaders of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Li Fuchun, Soviet leaders proposed to show in China the achievements of the USSR in the field of economics, science and technology, construction and architecture. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to build Soviet exhibition pavilions in Beijing and Shanghai to study the Soviet experience.

October 15, 1953 in the western part of Xizhimen City District (the current address is Xicheng District, Xizhimenwei dajie Avenue) a solemn ceremony was held for the start of work on the construction of the Soviet exhibition 4Premier Zhou Enlai of the State Council of the People's Republic of China instructed provinces across the country to provide assistance with human and material resources. More than 10 thousand people worked at the construction site. construction workers and more than 6 thousand military personnel. The work was carried out day and night and was completed in September 1954.

The authors of the project were architect V. S. Andreev and engineer L. M. Gokhman. Several buildings were built on a total area of 132 thousand square meters. The exhibition pavilion had a height of 103 m. A gilded spire 40 m long was installed on a high 4-tier tower.

The spire was crowned with a five-pointed red star. Initially, it was supposed to be made in the USSR. However, to save time, the order was completed in Beijing. The star's width was one Chinese fathom (3.3 m), and its weight reached 500 kg. Thanks to the mechanisms created by the workers of the Fengtai Bridge construction Plant, the star was placed at the desired height 5.

In the upper part of the 1st tier of the tower there was a bas-relief of the coat of arms of the Soviet Union (currently a dove is depicted framed by ears of corn). On the pediment of the building were depicted (in the handwriting of Mao Zedong) five gilded hieroglyphs-Sulyan Zhanlanguan (Exhibition of the Soviet Union). On the wall on both sides of the entrance is an inscription in Russian and Chinese: "Long live the unbreakable friendship of the peoples of China and the Soviet Union."

A large fountain with a diameter of 45 m was built in front of the main entrance on the square. The back wall of the majestic central hall was decorated with a bas-relief of the coat of arms of the USSR. Below it, sculptures of Lenin and Stalin stood on a pedestal.

In addition to the exhibition halls, the Moscow restaurant was built - the first Western restaurant in the New China. For the Chinese, Russian dishes, and even setting the table with forks and knives, seemed a great curiosity. In addition, an outdoor theater for 2 thousand people was built. It was later expanded to include a 2,700-seat indoor theater, a movie theater, and other buildings.

In this grandiose complex, designed by V. S. Andreev, in the period from October 2 to December 26, 1954, an exhibition of achievements of the USSR in economic and cultural construction was organized. The opening ceremony was attended by Chinese and Soviet leaders: Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, N. S. Khrushchev, A. I. Mikoyan, N. A. Bulganin. Numerous exhibits of the exhibition (machine tools, cars, excavators, agricultural products, clothing, culture and everyday life), as well as unusual architectural creations of the Soviet people, aroused great interest among the Chinese, opening them a window into an unprecedented, as it seemed, fairy-tale world.

The following year, an exhibition of Czechoslovak achievements was held in this pavilion, followed by an exhibition of Japanese goods. Thus, the building designed by V. S. Andreev became the central exhibition area of the Chinese capital.


In parallel with the Beijing facility, another exhibition complex was being built under the project of V. S. Andreev-the "Palace of Soviet-Chinese Friendship" in Shanghai, in the central part of the city in the Jing'an district, near the old Hetong Huayuan Park (now Ailiyuan).

The design was carried out in an emergency in connection with such a curious case. In April 1954, engineer L. M. Gokhman came from Beijing to Shanghai to see the chosen site for construction. In the evening, at a banquet held in his honor, he unexpectedly announced that "construction work will begin on May 1 of this year." 6

The next day, it was reported in Shanghai newspapers. In the morning, Gokhman realized that he had acted rashly, and immediately called Andreev in Beijing. He announced at a meeting of builders that the governments of the USSR and the PRC had become aware of the date of the beginning of the construction of the Friendship Palace in Shanghai, so we can not be fooled.

There were 19 days left before the start of construction, and there was not yet a single project sheet. In addition to Soviet specialists, 70 Chinese engineers and designers were involved in the work (chief architect on the Chinese side - Chen Zhu (1902-2001), chief design engineer-Zhai Xianyu).

Andreev initially made a sketch of the exhibition pavilion in the form of a pagoda in the Chinese style. However, Chen Zhu rejected this option. As a result of collective efforts, a master plan was created, according to which specialists, divided into groups, developed general plans, a facade plan, cross-section drawings, etc. (in total, 2480 sheets of project drawings were completed during the construction period). And after 7 days, the project was ready.

On April 15, the project was taken to Shanghai, where it was approved by the local leadership. And construction began on May 4, 1954, almost as it was announced earlier at the notorious banquet, and included: the central hall, pavilions of industry, agriculture, culture and a cinema.

To reduce the time required for construction, the most advanced construction methods and techniques were used at that time: mobile high-rise scaffolding, modern concrete structures, etc. Serious requirements were placed on finishing and decorative works. It was necessary to lay 6450 square meters. m

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granite, 2400 sq. m. m of marble. The interiors designed by Soviet designers were expertly executed by Chinese craftsmen. V. S. Andreev admired: "These national ornaments of the peoples of the USSR acquired a Chinese flavor thanks to the creative manner of local craftsmen. It symbolizes the deep friendship between the peoples of our countries. " 7

The Shanghai exhibition complex surpassed its Beijing counterpart, looked more fundamental and solid. The height of the main 14-storey building with a five-pointed star on the spire was 114 m (according to other sources, 110.4 m). In the city for some time there was an unspoken installation: do not build houses in Shanghai higher than the gold star on the dome of the "big brother" building (as the Chinese called the Soviet Union in those years). Now the old high-rise is less visible, squeezed by modern skyscrapers.

The main element of the building, which was 5 times higher than the tallest building of that time in Shanghai-the Guoji Fandian Hotel (International), was a gilded spire with a star.

Its production was entrusted to the Huadong Construction Machinery Manufacturing Plant. The total length of the spire was 51.8 m (together with the star and its stand). The star was made of red glass with a thickness of 10 mm and fixed in a steel frame. Inside, 125 lamps with a total power of 6,300 watts were lit. The spire was covered with 1,300 red copper plates 0.7-0.8 mm thick with gilding applied. A total of 15 kg of gold and 1200 kg of mercury were spent.

The total weight of the spire with the star was 32 tons. To lift each of its 22 sections (with a total weight of 1.5 tons) to the top of the building, it was necessary to create a special lifting device. The sections were welded and extended to the full length of the structure. The deviation from the central axis of the building was only 5 cm, which according to the project was allowed 8.

The building was entered by a central gate made of glass and metal, decorated at the top with a red star. In front of them was a portico supported by four tall, ornate columns. On them were placed the Russian letters that make up the abbreviation "USSR". Between the columns at the top were fixed emblems: a hammer and sickle, on the pediment of the portico the inscription - "Palace of Soviet-Chinese Friendship".

At the entrance to the exhibition, a sculptural group of Soviet and Chinese workers was installed, raising a star in their hands, and a banner developing behind them. The authors of this project were well-known Soviet sculptors L. E. Karbel (a Stalin Prize winner in collaboration with V. E. Tsigal created a monument in memory of the heroes of the storming of Berlin in Tiergarten Park) and an Honored Artist of the Ukrainian SSR L. D. Muravin.

Within 10 months, from May 4, 1954 to March 3, 1955, about 60 thousand square meters of premises were built. The exhibition area was over 20 thousand square meters. m. At the same time, the weather conditions were very difficult: for two months there were continuous rains, there were unprecedented cold temperatures of up to-10 degrees for this area.

The main exhibition complex consisted of a front pavilion, a central pavilion, a meeting hall, a columned gallery and four side wings (two east and two west). The interiors were richly decorated with Soviet-style sculpting and carving. Gilding and various expensive materials were used in the decoration.

The exhibition of achievements of the Soviet economy and culture was held for two months - from March 15 to May 15, 1955. More than 10 thousand exhibits were displayed, including more than 300 new mechanisms and machines. The exhibition was held in the pavilions of light industry, agriculture, food and culture. In addition, cars, mining equipment, and agricultural machinery were displayed in open areas. The exhibition aroused great interest among the Chinese, with an average of 57,000 visitors per day9.

The third object created by V. S. Andreev in China was the Soviet Exhibition complex in Guangzhou, in southern China. The Chinese comrades liked the expositions of the USSR exhibitions so much that they decided to organize them in other cities (in particular, in Guangzhou and Wuhan, the exhibitions lasted until July 1957, they were visited by more than 11.25 million people).

The Guangzhou Exhibition complex was built quickly from April 5 to the end of September 1955. Chinese architect Lin Kemin also participated in its design. The exhibition occupied a total area of 114 thousand square meters, including buildings - 18.3 thousand square meters. m. It was designed to receive 30 thousand visitors daily. The three-story main exhibition pavilion looked smaller in scale than in Beijing and Shanghai, and was only 23 m high10. On the pediment of the building is the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, a five-pointed star and four large letters "USSR".

The spire was no longer built, because this architectural element was no longer fashionable in the USSR under Nikita Khrushchev.

The grand opening of the exhibition, which featured more than 11,700 exhibits, took place on October 5, 1955.


The decision to build the USSR exhibition pavilions in Beijing and Shanghai was made during Stalin's lifetime. However, after his death, not only the situation in the country changed dramatically, but also the vector of architectural policy. So, on November 4, 1954, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a resolution "On the elimination of excesses in design and construction". The decree criticized "unjustified tower superstructures, numerous decorative colonnades and porticos, and other architectural excesses borrowed from the past." 11 In this regard, V. S. Andreev also got it.

At one meeting in Moscow, N. S. Khrushchev criticized him for his passion for building spires. At the same time, he said that Andreev "stuck" the spire even in Beijing and Shanghai 12So we can say that if the construction of high-rises in Beijing and Shanghai had been delayed a little, V. S. Andreev's architectural creations would not have been so bright on Chinese soil.

page 68

Today, the buildings of V. S. Andreev and his colleagues, their appearance, in general, have been preserved. But as Sino-Soviet relations cooled in the late 1950s and 1960s, certain details of the Beijing Exhibition Complex and other Soviet buildings began to change. So, in 1958, on the initiative of Zhou Enlai, the exhibition was named "Beijing Exhibition Pavilion" 13.

Subsequently, the bas-reliefs of the USSR coat of arms and sculptures of Lenin and Stalin were removed from the facade and pavilion, and the coats of arms of the Union republics of the USSR were removed from the arched openings (all this was considered a symbol of the "Soviet revisionists", who, according to Chinese leaders, departed from the Communist teachings). But the building, although its five-pointed star design reminded many Chinese of Moscow and the Kremlin, survived even during the years of intense confrontation between the leaders of the CPSU and the CPC, who were torn apart by ideological differences and felt personal hostility to each other.

In 1968, the Palace of Soviet-Chinese Friendship was renamed the Shanghai Exhibition Hall, and in 1984-the Shanghai Exhibition Center. In 1989, the building was included in the list of "best houses in Shanghai". And in October 1999, the exhibition was recognized as one of the 10 classic buildings of Shanghai in the 1950s. 14 However, the building was "cleared" of some Soviet symbols: for example, the coat of arms and banners of the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle were removed. The sculptural group of Soviet and Chinese workers at the entrance was destroyed during the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976), it was replaced by a statue of a man with a powerful torso holding a symbol above his head that is incomprehensible to many (something like the orbits of knowledge of the Universe).

Until now, the building hosts major celebrations. In April 1996, an agreement was signed here on strengthening confidence-building measures in the military field and on the mutual reduction of armed forces in the border area between the so - called "Shanghai Five" countries-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan. Subsequently, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established on this basis.

In 2001, the Shanghai Exhibition Center was seriously renovated. The works were carried out on an area of 80 thousand square meters. m. The reconstruction budget was 290 million yuan (about $47 million). Only 5 kg of gold was spent on upgrading the spire and star. They claim that now the building can last for another 100 years. It is on the list of state-protected Shanghai Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites 15.

As in previous years, the Beijing and Shanghai exhibition "skyscrapers" are an architectural decoration of the city. They reflect the game with elements of classical styles, there is a synthesis of arts.

Today, the exhibition pavilions created by V. S. Andreev remain modern, convenient exhibition centers, which regularly host various international exhibitions. 16 I have been here many times, and each time I was proud of the work of domestic architects and Chinese builders who created such beauty.

It should be noted that V. S. Andreev's work was highly appreciated by both the Soviet leadership and the Chinese authorities. His creative team was assigned to design and build a new complex of the Chinese Embassy in Moscow. The old building, which was located in an old mansion in Kropotkinsky Lane (the so-called Derozhinskaya mansion, an architectural creation of F. O. Shekhtel), no longer met the growing needs of Chinese diplomats.


A plot of land with an area of more than 10 hectares was allocated for construction, not far from Moscow University on the Leninsky (now Vorobyovy) Mountains (Druzhby str., 6).

The architect of the project, V. S. Andreev, could not fail to take into account the requirements of the Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of 1954 on the elimination of excesses in design and construction, as well as personal criticism from Khrushchev. Therefore, the external architecture of the buildings looked very simple. The main building with a single-part facade was an elongated rectangle, devoid of any special architectural decorations.

However, the low-key appearance of the main building was compensated by the magnificent decoration of the interiors in the spacious halls of the first floor. The reception building had several state halls, including a large hall (600 sq. m), designed to receive more than 1 thousand guests, a stage, and a winter garden. A separate hall was built for exhibitions. Through the main entrance, visitors entered a huge lobby-waiting room (400 square meters).

page 69

Just before the entrance to the great hall, a 3-meter-high stone screen in a wooden frame was installed, on which a mountain landscape was depicted on the outside from colored stones, and on the inside - an inscription in ancient hieroglyphs, which can be translated with these words:: "There are close friends in the world. Although they are far from each other, but the relationship between them is like that of neighbors."

In March 1958, in order to save money, the Chinese side asked to remove the club, sports hall, ambassador's residence, kindergarten, etc. from the project. But already in 1960, the question was raised about the construction of the ambassador's residence and other facilities. On the territory of the embassy, a landscape park was laid out in the style of the Chinese garden and park tradition: with terraces, reservoirs, artificial hills and gazebos. Its area was 2.5 ha17.

Traditional motifs and techniques of Chinese architecture were taken into account. In this regard, the Soviet builders were helped by Chinese architects Tong Tsengzhun and Fan Boi, who came to work in Moscow. The buildings were decorated with materials typical of Chinese architecture. Chinese artists and decorative artists, as well as Chinese gardeners, worked on the construction.

The project of the Chinese embassy was previously discussed by the Moscow Architectural and Construction Council and approved by the Executive Committee of the Moscow City Council. Then the project was sent to Beijing, where in the summer of 1957 it was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The volume of all structures was over 150 thousand cubic meters. m. The main works were completed by the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1959.

It should be noted that all three objects on Chinese soil (exhibition pavilions in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) and the Chinese Embassy in Moscow were designed by V. S. Andreev in creative collaboration with L. M. Gokhman and architect K. D. Kislova. Andreev's wife, a graduate of the Moscow Architectural Institute, has worked with her husband on many projects all her life, including in China.

After returning from China, V. S. Andreev focused on his work in Moscow. Here, according to his projects, were built: the 25-storey residential building No. 182 A (1969) and the House of Optics (1975) on Mira Avenue; the House of Political Education (now the Federation Council of the Russian Federation is located here) on Trubnaya Square and the Kosmos Hotel (1979, co-authored with the French), etc. Subsequently, he managed the planning and development projects of the districts of Medvedkov, Sviblov and a number of others in Moscow. For his services, Andreev was awarded two Orders of the Red Banner of Labor and medals. In 1978, he was awarded the honorary title of People's Architect of the USSR.

* * *

Andreev has come a long way in his life from a student of Kharkiv University to a venerable architect of international level, who left his mark both in Europe and in Asia. A separate bright page of his work is the creations on Chinese soil, which retain their role as architectural symbols of friendship between our peoples.

1 Andreev Viktor Semenovich / / Moscow. Encyclopedia, Moscow, 1980, p. 106.

Kosenkova Yu. L., Samokhina T. N. 2 Akademicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie v istorii sovetskoi arkhitektury [Academic Science and education in the history of Soviet Architecture]

3 Soviet-designed Embassy building // Embassy of the Czech Republic in Moscow -\x2012_1014/velvyslanectvi_podIe_sovetskych_p rojektu. h tml

4 Beijing zhanlanguan (Beijing Exhibition Hall)

5 Beijing zhanlanguande tieta he hongxing (Iron Pillar and Red Star of Beijing Exhibition Pavilion) -

6 Huihuang zai lishide xijieli jinian shanghai zhanlan zhongxin (yuan zhongsu youhao dasha) jiancheng 50 zhounian (50th anniversary of the Shanghai Exhibition Center / former Palace of Sino-Soviet Friendship / in brilliant historical details) http//

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

Wang Huiqing. 9 Zhongsuyouhaodashajianshe shimo (Wang Huiqing. History of the construction of the Palace of Sino-Soviet Friendship)

10 Zhongsu youhao dasha (Guangzhou zhongsuyouhao dasha) (Palace of Chinese-Soviet Friendship / Guangzhou Palace of Chinese-Soviet Friendship) -

11 On the elimination of excesses in design and construction // Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of 04.11.1954, N 1871

Krutikov K. A. 12 In the Chinese direction. From the Memoirs of a diplomat, Moscow, 2003, p. 160.

13 Beijing zhanlanguan (Beijing Exhibition Pavilion)...

Wang Huiqing. 14 Decree. Op.

15 Zhongsu youhao dasha...

16 " Beijing. Shanghai, then everywhere." Exhibition complexes in China-httpy/www. informexpo. ru/new/viewcontent. php?id-1727

Gorbachev B. N., Manakova T. B. 17 The Revival of the shrine. Assumption Church on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Beijing. Moscow, 2013. P. 190. (Gorbachyov B. N., Manakova T. B. 2013. Vozrozhdenie svyatyni ... Moscow) (in Russian)


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