New East Digital Archive

Kiev pensioner gives apartment block baroque facelift

14 November 2016

Kiev pensioner Volodymyr Chaika has given the common areas of his apartment building an extraordinary makeover, creating baroque-style spaces more akin to something out of St Petersburg’s opulent State Hermitage Museum than a block of flats.

65-year-old Mr Chaika, who lives in the Troyeshchnya district of the Ukrainian capital, felt compelled to undertake the renovation after having a near-death experience. “In 1997 I survived a clinical death… from that time I wanted to do something beautiful and unusual for myself and others,” he told the Ukraina Segodnya news site.

His personal highlight of the 15-year makeover is the rubbish chute, which now takes the form of a column decorated with gold statuettes. Mr Chaika would argue, however that the design is not baroque-inspired, as many reports have suggested — he would rather describe it as his own personal style.

Can we expect more from Mr Chaika?

Although the master designer says that at present he doesn’t envisage redecorating more of the apartment building’s stairwells, due to a lack of funds, he hasn’t ruled out further work.

“My pension isn’t enough,” he commented. “I want to just finish what I started and then we’ll see… If people ask, I will!”

Source: BBC News