This unique map is located in the geological museum of Saint-Petersburg. It is made from gemstones in the Florentine and Russian mosaic technique. 45 000 gemstones 4-6 mm (0.15-0.23 inches) thick were used to make the panel of the map.
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This splendid mosaic is a monument to the imperial style of the former Soviet Union.
The Communist Party of the USSR decided to celebrate its twentieth anniversary by making a huge mosaic panel from gemstones.
“The map of The USSR industrialization” is the whole USSR in scale 1:1 500 000. The size of the map os twenty seven square meters, it is made from 50 000 fragments. The gemstones were being chosen to match the colors and sizes.
The great construction sites were all marked by gemstones.
The whole map was made in the shortest possible period of time – eleven months. About 700 stonecutters were working day and night. Soon it received the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris, then a gold medal in New York.
The work impressed all visitors of the exhibition. The masters precisely recreated reliefs of mountains and curves of rivers in proper colors and in accordance with their sizes. For some time they were trying to maintain the actual state of the map (changed borders after the war etc.) but soon stopped doing this.
After the war the map was exhibited in the Hermitage but soon they decided that precious construction sites didn’t have to be shown to various spies and the map was taken to the geological museum.
In 2006 the map underwent the first serious reconstruction.