Artek (Cyrillic: Арте́к) is an international children center (a former Young Pioneer camp) on the Black Sea in the town of Hurzuf located on the Crimean peninsula, near Ayu-Dag. It was established on June 16, 1925. The center is part of the State Management of Affairs.
The camp first hosted only 80 children but then grew rapidly. In 1969 it had an area of 3.2 km². The camp consisted of 150 buildings, including three medical facilities, a school, the film studio Artekfilm, three swimming pools, a stadium with a seating capacity of 7,000, and playgrounds for various other activities. Unlike most of the young pioneer camps, Artek was an all-year camp, due to the warm climate.
Artek was considered to be a privilege for Soviet children during its existence, as well as for children from other communist countries. During its heyday, 27,000 children a year vacationed at Artek. Between 1925 and 1969 the camp hosted 300,000 children including more than 13,000 children from 70 foreign countries. After the breaking up of the Young Pioneers in 1991 its prestige declined, though it remained a popular vacation destination.
Artek consisted of a total of ten smaller camps. Each of them had its own name: Morskoi, Lazurny, Kiparisny, etc. Four of these camps (Rechnoi, Ozyorny, Lesnoi and Polevoi) made up the notable Pribrezhny complex of Artek built between 1960 and 1964. The group of architects, led by Anatoly Polyansky, that designed Pribrezhny was awarded the USSR State Prize in architecture in 1967.
Similar distinguished pioneer camps were maintained by several Soviet republics, e.g., Orlyonok in Russian SFSR and Zubryonok on Byelorussian SSR. In East Germany the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation built a pioneer camp similar to Artek in 1952 at Werbellinsee north-east of Berlin.
Among honorary guests of Artek were:
60% of visitors arrive on a state subsidized or free basis. The beneficiaries are children from low income and large families, as well as orphans, handicapped and gifted children. In 2005 full prices were in the range of 3,000-5,000 UAH, depending on the season and location. 2007 prices were from US$770 to about $2000.
2005 was the year of Artek's 80th anniversary and the camp hosted about 13,000 children in educational camps under the supervision of about 2,000 of volunteer squad leaders managed by permanent pedagogical staff of over 200 under the command of general director Olga Guzar (Ольга Владимировна Гузар).
Traditionally Artek provided a base (known as a School of Pedagogues-Organizers) for hands-on training of students of pedagogical schools. This tradition has been continued today and the camp is known as the "Humanitarian Institute 'Artek'". In 2005 students from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan were trained there.
As of late 2008 Artek was in financial trouble, which was solved when the Ukrainian Parliament passed laws early February 2009 writing off more than $2 million in debt (and more in unpaid taxes), barred privatization of the camp's land and obliged government agencies to pay the expenses of 15,000 children each year.
In 2009 a criminal case was opened after several children stated they were raped in the camp. Three deputies of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainians parliament) and a priest are involved in this case according to BYuT Rada deputy Hryhoriy Omelchenko. On 21 May 2010 a Verkhovna Rada commission investigating these allegations was disbanded after it failed to find enough evidence to proceed.
- Information about Artek at the State Management of Affairs website
- Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed., Entry on Artek
- The International Children Center Artek - Ukrainian tours
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 80-х годов. •··
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 60-х годов. •··
- Borman, Frank; Serling, Robert J. (1988). Countdown – An Autobiography. New York: W. Morrow. p. 251. ISBN 0-688-07929-6.
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 70-х годов. •··
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 50-х годов. •··
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 40-х годов. •··
- ··• МДЦ "Aртек" ·•· Хроника 30-х годов. •··
- Yuschenko expresses concern over situation with Artek children's center, Interfax-Ukraine (January 28, 2009)
- Cabinet Of Ministers To Initiate Granting Of Special Status To Artek's Land, Ukrainian News Agency (January 30, 2009)
- Ukraine's government to provide funds for financing Artek on Saturday, Interfax-Ukraine (January 30, 2009)
- Ukraine's pro-Western leaders fight over Soviet symbol, UNIAN (February 6, 2009)
- Rada Prohibits Alienation Of Land And Property Belonging To Artek And Moloda Hvardia, Ukrainian News Agency (February 3, 2009)
- Children are raped in Artek camp, claims Ukrainian parliamentarian, Kyiv Post (October 13, 2009)
- Sexual assault at famous Ukraine kid camp probed, Kyiv Post (October 13, 2009)
- There are three surnames of lawmakers in case on corruption of minors in Artek, UNIAN (October 14, 2009)
- Rada disbands commission investigating Artek child molestation case, Kyiv Post (May 21, 2010)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Artek (camp).|
- The International Children Center Artek, official homepage.
- Four weeks in Artek
- Representative office of the International Children Center Artek in Kiev.