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French descendants of Pavel Yordanov visited Taganrog

August 19, 2019: descendants of Pavel Fyodorovitch Yordanov from France visited the city of Taganrog. A delegation of thirteen people led by Cyril Iordanow and Helene Chatelain Iordanow arrived to their historical homeland only three months after the exhibition "Dear Valued Pavel Fyodorovich..." opened at Taganrog Town-Planning Museum.

Visiting the Chekhov Gymansium Museum
In June 2016 the first descendant of Yordanov family came to Taganrog and Russia for the first time since the end of the Russian Civil War. This time representatives of the Russian community in Beirut are visiting their historic home city to see the sites related to the life and work of Pavel Yordanov, who was born in the city of Taganrog in 1858 and was linked by ties of kinship to many other Taganrog families, such as Laquiere, Alferaky, Sinodi-Popov, Sarandinaki, Komneno-Varvakis, etc. He was also Anton Chekhov's schoolmate - for two years they attended together the same class of the Taganrog Boys' School (now - "Chekhov Gymnasium" Museum), and both earned a degree in medicine. After his graduation from Moscow State University, Pavel Fyodorovich Yordanov returned to his home city of Taganrog to work as a public health doctor, and later was elected alderman at the local city council (duma).

Being an active politician who initiated many great beginnings for Taganrog, starting from 1896 Pavel F. Yordanov maintained regular correspondence with Anton Chekhov regarding such issues as foundation of the city museum, construction of the monument in honor of Peter The Great, development of Taganrog public library, establishment of the first public drugstore, Taganrog bicentenary celebrations, and many more. In 1905-1909 he held office as mayor of Taganrog. When Civil War began, in 1919 he left Russia for Turkey, where he spent the last months of his life working in a hospital.

On August 16 the great-grandchildren and other descendants of Pavel Yordanov visited the Museum of Literature "Chekhov Gymnasium" and had an opportunity to hold in their hands unique documents and memorabilia from the Taganrog museum's depository: over 20 archival units including letters, photographs, postcards and protocols of the Taganrog Chekhov Society. Among them were letters and books sent to Taganrog Museum-Preserve by Pavel Yordanov's son Alexander in 1960s. For his part Cyril Iordanow promised to museum researchers to share copies of materials from their family archives related to Yordanovs, Laquiere and Komneno-Varvakis.

Taganrog Old Cemetery
Besides visiting major attractions and Chekhov sites, French guests went to see the tombs of their renowned forefathers - Yordanovs, Alpherakies, Komneno-Varvakis and Lacquieres.

Lakier Estate
On August 18 Cyril Iordanow, Helene Chatelain-Iordanow and Antoine Iordanow visited a Taganrog landmark located outside of the city, but related to the names of Alexander Lacquiere and the family of Komneno-Varvakis. Deputy Head of Neklinovskiy District Alexander Tretyakov, Polyakovka Village Head Alexander Galitsky, director of Novo-Lakedemonovka School Victor Maksimenko and representatives of mass-media met French visitors at the entry to Alexander Lakier (Lacquiere)'s "Golden Estate" in Zolotaya Kosa.

Lakier Estate Model
Yordanovs found out about the history of this architectural monument and the work conducted by the local authorities, regional NGO "My Façade", Rostov branch of the All-Russian Society for Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPIIK) and engaged citizens from all around Rostov Oblast. Earlier in 2016 a fundraising campaign to save the Lakier estate was held and raised necessary funds for the building's preliminary conservation and emergency repairs of the roof. Neklinovskiy District Government has completed the project for renovation and refurbishment of the Lakier Estate to give it back its original appearance.

Besides the estate, French guests visited the local school's museum, which is mainly dedicated to Alexander Lakier and the history of the building. Cyril Iordanow received an old tile bearing the label of Lakier's "Golden Estate".

French descendants of Taganrog's mayor Pavel Yordanov have plans to come back in 2020 or 2021.