28 мая 2020  |  
3:40 PM  November 4, 2019

In memory of grandfather: how Tomsk store appeared in Lisbon center

© предоставил Димитри ГанцелевичIn memory of grandfather: how Tomsk store appeared in Lisbon center

TOMSK, Nov 4 – RIA Tomsk, Mikhail Golubev. Grandson of Tomsk merchant Jacob Gancelevic, who emigrated from Russia before World War I, decided to name a shop in Lisbon center, capital of Portugal, after his ancestor. Entrepreneur himself has long lived on the other bank of the Atlantic and, despite his venerable age, dreams of riding on Transsib. More details – in material RIA Tomsk.

"Tomsk" da Lisboa

Tourists usually do not pay their attention the noisy and modern avenue of the Republic (Avenida da República) in Lisbon, along which the high-rise buildings of glass and concrete are lined up. You can accidentally get here only from Campo Pequeno, a nearby beautiful arena where the torada (Portuguese version of the corrida) occasionally passes.

© РИА Томск. Михаил Голубев
However, here in the prestigious business quarter, among expensive restaurants, offices and boutiques there is something that will amaze any Tomsk tourist – the store "Tomsk."

"Our family bought this store more than 40 years ago. And his previous owner was from Russia, he came up with the name. This is all I know", – the daughter of the owner of the Tomsk store Rita Lopesh slightly disappoints with her answer.

© РИА Томск. Михаил Голубев
Tomsk store in Lisbon center
"Our customers are residents of Lisbon, not tourists. Our prices are above average because we don't trade massmarket like Zara or Pull'n'Bear. We sell classic brand men's and women's clothing tailored in Portugal, Spain and France", – Rita says.

She promises to search the family archive for information about the mysterious Russian who opened the store "Tomsk" on the edge of Eurasia, and to inform about it by e-mail. And after all she didn't forget and found and wrote: the one who was needed, with the name Dimitri Gancelevic! But unfortunately, after selling the store, he emigrated from Portugal; it is unknown, where.

"Tomsk" was conceived to be other

Thanks to social media! It turned out to be easy to find the right person with obviously not the most common last name.

"Yes, I opened this shop 50 years ago and it was mine until 1975 when I moved to Brazil. In Lisbon I lived for 15 years", – 83-year-old Dimitri from outside the ocean wrote.

Turns out the store was originally antique. Dimitri decided to trade ancient interior objects, products of decorative and applied art and folk crafts after finishing his studies for the artist in Paris and London.

"Managed to arrange several exhibitions and sell some of the paintings, but then realized that I lacked talent, and decided to open an antique shop in Portugal. About Tomsk I knew only that my grandfather was born there", – he frankly declares.

Paris, London, Lisbon... Dimitri, according to him, has lived in Brazilian Salvador for 44 years, and prefers to rest in Casablanca (Morocco). It runs in the family craving for a change of places...

© предоставил Димитри Ганцелевич
Father and sons Gancelevic in Switzerland (Jacob on the right)

Jacob from Tomsk – the story of the Brazilian grandson

"That's the name of the store after my grandfather. He was born in Tomsk in a Jewish family. His name was Jacob Gancelevic. Due to health problems, he typically spent the winter in southern Europe. He adored music and, coming from Russia, wheeled around France and Italy and sought to follow the tours of Chaliapin and Caruso.

Often travelling in Europe before the outbreak of World War I, he met my grandmother Englishwoman Annette Moore. She was educated in France. And not some! She was one of the most successful graduates of the Paris Conservatoire. In 1912, she performed a piano concert in Switzerland, where Jacob was then.

© предоставил Димитри Ганцелевич
Jacob Gancelevic and Annette Moore
For some reason, they, having not married, left for Morocco (in those days such acts were considered obscene). The official marriage was formalized before the very birth of their firstborn, my father. The boy was named Vladimir.

I can assume they just escaped Annette's parents, who refused to acknowledge her choice of marrying a Jew. The level of anti-Semitism in France was then quite high, it was shown by the famous Dreyfus case (the trial in December 1894 in France in the case of spying for Germany by a Jewish officer in the wake of strong anti-Semitic sentiment in society. – Ed.).

© предоставил Димитри Ганцелевич
"My father and his five brothers were born in Tangier, northern Morocco. This photo was taken there in March, 1920. The family poses amid their own home. Light-haired Boris and dark-haired Vladimir – my father sit on the steps", – says Dimitri.

For many years, no one in my family knew about our Jewish roots. It was only when I turned 20 that I became interested in the subject. When I found out my grandfather was Jewish, there was a real family scandal, because we all thought we were respectable Presbyterian. Time passed, and one day my half-sister Carmen found another family of Gancelevic on the Internet who lived... In Israel!

Perhaps someone with the surname Gancelevic still lives in Tomsk.

Merchant Gancelevic

After meeting with Annette Jacob Gancelevic no longer returned to Russia. Descendants are sure it was a great love. Meanwhile, even before emigration he had a good business in Tomsk province.

"Jacob built at least four commercial and industrial facilities. I know about shops, one of which was in (village) Izhmorsky (now Kemerovo region – Ed.). There was still a sawmill at the Yaya station of the Trans-Siberian Railway. It produced railroad ties for and gave income from the sale of firewood. In Tomsk Jacob had a house at Efremovsky Street (now Bakunina – Ed.)", – Dimitri says.

© предоставил Димитри Ганцелевич
One of the shops of Gancelevic in Tomsk Province
After the outbreak of World War I, it became almost impossible to travel from Tangier to Tomsk. And after the revolution, the new government nationalized the property of merchants. Perhaps, and therefore also Jacob Gancelevic decided not to return to his homeland.

"I know that my grandfather no longer spoke Russian after the Bolsheviks deprived him of his nationality. And in our family there were no Russian traditions", – Dimitri concludes the story about his grandfather.


Today the surname Gancelevic is considered quite famous in Salvador. All thanks to Dimitri's passion for art. Recently, a film about his house was made by one of the popular Brazilian videobloggers. The film is called "House-Museum." The author tells about the richest collection of paintings, sculptures and other all kinds of things, and admires the fact that each room in a large house is decorated in its unique style.

"I was thinking about coming to my grandfather's homeland, but it's so far and so expensive... Although, driving on the Trans-Siberian Railway would be great! ", – says Gancelevic-grandson.

Film "House-Museum"

Сайт РИА Томск /riatomsk.ru/ содержит информацию, подготовленную Региональным информационным агентством "Томск" (РИА Томск) с территорией распространения – Российская Федерация, зарубежные страны.
РИА Томск зарегистрировано в Федеральной службе по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскомнадзор) 06 ноября 2019 г. Свидетельство о регистрации ИА № ФС 77-77122.
Настоящий ресурс может содержать материалы 18+. Материалы, размещенные на правах рекламы, выходят под знаком "реклама". РИА Томск не несет ответственности за партнерские материалы.
Главные новости дня в нашей рассылке