KGB Spy Museum @ Hyperallergic
As basically anyone I spoke with on my recent trip to the Swiss Alps can tell you, I am obsessed with spy culture. I spent three days in exclusive James Bond-like environments, just waiting for someone, anyone, to discreetly hand me some microfilm or deliver mysterious coordinates. I was ready. Unfortunately, no spies chose to make contact; perhaps it had something to do with my nearly nonstop monologue about being on the lookout for spies. (Or is that the perfect cover?) Fortunately, I had an overnight connection through New York on my way home, which allowed me to visit the KGB Spy Museum, which opened last month. This provided all the espionage I’d been craving.
The museum, which is pointedly apolitical in its mission, hopes to inform the public about the history and declassified innerworkings of the KGB — (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), which, as my bilingual tour guide, Sergei, explained to me, means “Committee (Ministry) of State Safety.” The name Sergei means both “protector” and “shepherd” in Russian, and proved to be apt nomenclature for my guide, who shepherded me through the museum’s numerous display cases and interactive stations.
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