Povetkin was an internationally-acclaimed scientist and honored citizen of the ancient Russian city.
He has been working at the digs of Novgorod since 1975, contributing to discoveries of many artifacts, including the famous birch bark documents. However his passion was musical instruments and everything related to them.
Over the decades, he developed an original restoration method and used to bring back to life the Rus siblings of the lyre (gusli), mouth harp (vargan), harp (gudok) and other instruments. His works became the foundation of the Novgorod Center for Musical Antiquities, which was opened in 1990.