Museum workers in Krasnoyarsk were astonished when they digitalized local photos from the early 1900s only to find an identical figure in all of them – a solemn girl, dressed in all white, striking an identical pose.
So far, the mystery girl has been found in at least 20 photos and four glass negatives, which researchers at the Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum of Local Lore believe were taken between 1906 and 1908, judging from the state of the buildings in the photos.
“It was only modern equipment that allowed us to notice the girl. When you look at the old pictures, you do not see her. She is rather small there. When we made high resolution scans and zoomed in, we saw her more closely, along with the details of her clothes and hairstyle,” said Ilya Kuklinsky, senior researcher at the museum. “It is quite strange that no one noticed her before, though the pictures were widely used as illustrations.”
In most of the landscape shots, the girl plays no obvious role, standing in the background next to several lower-class children, or at one point on a rooftop in front of a railway bridge in the Siberian city.
“She changes boots, stockings, and we can see some differences in her dress, but she is always in the same pose and with the same facial expression. She never smiles. The fact that she changes her clothes makes me think that the pictures were not taken in a single day,” said Kuklinsky. “It was over a period of some time. But what was the aim?”