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Posted: 11/21/2003 6:39:59 PM EDT
kfwb.com/news_international.asp?displayOption=&contentGUID={582C72C7-7FFB-4760-ADC5-05E1E8A3A21F}&groupName=AP%20Top%20International%20Headlines&siteGUID={3B62BF55-4A93-48E6-A45D-6A495DC423AD}

Kalashnikov Opens Rare Public Exhibition

Kalashnikov Opens Rare Public Exhibition Of His Rifles In Netherlands

DELFT, Netherlands 11.21.03, 5:34p -

His name is synonymous with both death and excellence, and for years it was associated with the "enemy" on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Maj. Gen. Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 automatic rifle, opened an exhibit of his life's work at the Military Museum in Delft on Thursday.

The rare public showing, called "Rifle Without Borders," features dozens of variants of the weapon.

It also includes multimedia displays on the various wars in which the AK-47 has played a major role, including ongoing conflicts in Africa where child soldiers sometimes carry Kalashnikovs.

Introduced in 1949, the Kalashnikov rifle quickly became the weapon of choice in communist countries and continues to be used in much of the post-Cold War world. Millions have been produced.

Kalashnikov, 84 said the secret of his rifles' popularity was that he knew his market.

"I served in World War II, and I know what kind of weapon is needed by a soldier," Kalashnikov said. "Soldiers usually don't come from academies, they need a simple, reliable weapon. But it's much more difficult to make something simple than to make it complicated."

Asked whether he felt responsible for the tens of thousands of people who have been killed as a result of his work, Kalashnikov said politicians, not weapons, are to blame.

"Any weapon can kill, that's not the fault of the designer," he said.

The display, which runs through May, includes a chrome-plated Kalashnikov, and another covered with hot pink cloth and glitter.

Another exhibit shows a bullet that had been fired through a wax block, illustrating the pattern of destruction caused by an impact.

Although the design of the Kalashnikov rifles was jealously guarded in the days of the Soviet Union, they have been displayed recently in the West, including last year in Suhl, Germany.

The Associated Press
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:39:27 AM EDT
I am there for sure.....it was on the news here too...This particular museum has a nice collection of firearms and the exposition of the AK's is another excuse to go and perhaps again.....
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 8:20:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 8:57:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kuiper:
I am there for sure.....it was on the news here too...This particular museum has a nice collection of firearms and the exposition of the AK's is another excuse to go and perhaps again.....



TAKE PICTURES!
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:51:13 AM EDT
ARF.com ROAD TRIP!!! may be we can borrow Michael Jackson's plane he woulnt be needing it.....
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 11:01:29 AM EDT
HM,

Can only hope to take pics in the museum, don't know if they allow it....will bring digicam anyway and if they allow it expect a complete report. A report will be posted after a visit anyway...
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 1:08:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
But it's much more difficult to make something simple than to make it complicated.



When I visted with him at his summer home in July, that was one of the points he made to me
and I agreed, and said that the end result of simplicity usually comes after many failed complexities... Then he showed me his neat home built electric weed cutter! I wonder if he feels sad and responsible for all of those poor plants he has murdered. GOSH I hate it when reporters ask him that question...They did it in Suhl as well, although his answer was a bit different. They quoted him as saying he wishes he would have designed a lawnmower or something... The gun is simply a tool. How come they never asked Lea Iacocca if he feels responsible for all the people that died in the cars he designed?
-C
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 4:58:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:15:20 AM EDT
Visited the exposition yesterday, felt like a kid in a candystore.....

Most of the collection came out of Germany, namely the Bundeswehr smallarms museum in Dresded. Loads of former DDR AK's, soviet en chinese weapons. Pricepieces included an original AK47 made in Russia captured by a Dutch soldier while on patrol in Guinea in 1958 en a Type56 w/folding bayonet donated by Hanoi in 1975 with a complimentary NVA uniform.

Saw a Soviet made Krink, Chinese bullpup AK, Galils, MPi's, RPK's and some rare training rifles as well as a Saiga12 automatic shotgun.

Also a Dutch made Galil was on display, we actually considered the Galil and manufacturing it locally but went with the FNFaL in the end.

Couldn't take pics as flash was not allowed and the lighting condition were awfull. But did buy the collection book, will scan in these pages so you people can have a look on what was on display in the city of Delft, Netherlands.

A great exposition of AK's rarely seen on public display.

Kuiper
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 4:34:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 5:24:01 AM EDT
Kuiper,

I can't wait to see the scans! Did the exhibit draw a great deal of people? Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:25:09 AM EDT
I draws quite a bit of attention indeed, seems to be a nice booster for an otherwise rather dull museum. Most people associate the AK with villains and childsoldiers...

Scans are coming up if I can get my HP3400 to stand to.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:39:02 AM EDT

Asked whether he felt responsible for the tens of thousands of people who have been killed as a result of his work, Kalashnikov said politicians, not weapons, are to blame.

"Any weapon can kill, that's not the fault of the designer," he said.



That's one smart Russian.

Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:57:08 PM EDT
I think it was Discovery Channel that had a special on Kalishnikov on their Tales of the Gun sries.

I noted a couple of quotes he used:

"All that is complex is not useful, all that is useful is simple"

and

"The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'"

Interesting quotes, especially if applied to the M-16/M4/SCAR/XM-8 USA weapon of the future.... (IMHO)
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 3:07:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By William_lxix:
I think it was Discovery Channel that had a special on Kalishnikov on their Tales of the Gun sries.

I noted a couple of quotes he used:

"All that is complex is not useful, all that is useful is simple"

and

"The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'"

Interesting quotes, especially if applied to the M-16/M4/SCAR/XM-8 USA weapon of the future.... (IMHO)



It was The History Chanel, good show too.

Gotta love the Russians and their proverbs.
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