The first Russian museum of erotica is opening
in St. Petersburg, Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports. The museum is
founded by Igor Knyazkin, the chief of the prostate research center of the
Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
Knyazkin told the newspaper that
museums of sex and erotica exist in many European countries and he wanted Russia
to be a civilized country with a view on the future and with correct views on
There is one exhibit in the museum which makes Knyazkin be
especially proud of. This is the 30-centimeter preserved penis of Grigory
Rasputin. "Having this exhibit, we can stop envying America, where Napoleon
Bonaparte's penis is now kept. … Napoleon's penis is but a small "pod" it cannot
stand comparison to our organ of 30 centimeters…" the head of the museum said.
Rasputin, nicknamed "Mad Monk" by historians was born in 1869 in
Siberia, arrived in St. Petersburg in 1911 and within a few years had become one
of the most influential men in government circles. His rise to preeminence was
due to his close relationship with Nicholas II's wife, Alexandra. The heir to
the throne suffered from hemophaelia, and only Rasputin could stop the boy's
bleeding. Because of this, Alexandra believed he was a holy man sent to protect
Alexis and she kept him close by at all times.
However, many historians
point to the unusual cult that Rasputin practiced at the Emperors' court - a
strange mixture of Christianity and sexual practices. Many of the noble women
were believed to be in sexual relations with Rasputin, possibly including the
At the end of 1916, a group of aristocrats decided that
Rasputin's influence had grown too great and that he had to be killed in order
to save Russia. They lured him to the palace of one of the princes; fed him
poisoned cakes and wine, shot him and then threw him into the frozen river.
A visitor looks at Rasputin's penis displayed at the first Russian museum of
erotica in St. Petersburg. The museum was founded by Igor Knyazkin, the chief of
the prostate research center of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
Photo by Alexander Drozdov
In a more innocent age, it was said that
Gregory Efimovich Rasputin's legendary power over women was due to his piercing
But a new museum of erotica here suggests that the mad monk's
charm may instead have been, ahem, concealed beneath his cassock.
Measuring 28.5 centimeters (about 11 inches) -- allowing for shrinkage
caused by pickling -- Rasputin's penis displayed in a tall glass bottle is, to
put it delicately, a big attraction at the museum.
Knyazkin said he bought the object from a French antiquitarian for 8,000 dollars
(6,600 euros), along with several of Rasputin's hand-written letters.
was not known if he had a certificate of authenticity for such a remarkable
Reputed both for his mysticism and his debauchery, Rasputin was a
powerful influence at the court of the Romanov Tsars.
his unusual hold over the Empress Alexandra, a group of aristocrats decided to
kill him to save Russia.
They lured him to an assignation in 1916, fed
him drugged cakes, shot him and finally killed him by wrapping him in a carpet
and throwing him into the frozen Neva river.
The aura of sexual power
and mysticism lives on. Some Russians think just by staring at the object, they
can cure sexual impotence.
One visitor asked Knyazkin if this is true.
"Without a shadow of doubt," he replied with a smile.
37, a urologist and sexologist, set up the museum in the clinic he runs, partly
with the aim of helping his patients overcome impotence. The atmosphere of the
museum makes patients "more optimistic and relaxed," he said.
of the doctor is to free his patient from anxiety and fears. Men who come here
are ill at ease because of their problems, and our light and happy atmosphere
Only part of Knyazkin's collection of 12,000 erotic
objects is displayed in the clinic, which is staffed by buxom nurses wearing
short white blouses and high heels.
"I keep the valuable stuff at home,"
Nevertheless, the museum still contains an impressive
collection of ceramic phalluses and bawdy drawings.
Many of the exhibits
come from his patients, said the doctor, rattling off the names of several
members of Russian high society.