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Monument to Minin and Pozharsky, Nizhny Novgorod

The Nizhny Novgorod monument to Minin and Pozharsky differs from the Moscow one in size and weight, but not by the degree of expressiveness.

Minin and Pozharsky initially wanted to establish in the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, where the heroic militia was assembled, liberating Russia from foreign invaders. But Tsar Alexander I, after examining the composition, said that the monument is too good for a provincial city. The Committee of Ministers decided to place the monument in Moscow on Red Square. There he remains to this day.

In the late 1990s, the former governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, Ivan Sklyarov, presented the metal board with the image of Peter I to the mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov. According to rumors, when presenting the gift, the governor said: accept your Peter, and we would return our Minin with Pozharsky. “If they are yours,” allegedly replied Luzhkov, “we will definitely return them, you can be sure of that.” Of course it was not meant to give the original. Yuri Mikhailovich sent an order to make a copy of the sculpture in the studio of Zurab Tsereteli.

However, the then mayor of Nizhny Novgorod, Yuri Lebedev (who bore the nickname “Flying Scrap” for his energy), said that the city was ready to buy the original monument of Ivan Martos from Moscow, and not a copy of it, and that Nizhny Novgorod patrons could collect funds for it. The corresponding letter was sent to Yuri Luzhkov. Until 2002, until Lebedev resigned from his post, Luzhkov no longer recalled his decision to transfer the monument to Minin and Pozharsky to Nizhny Novgorod. The case was resumed only with the arrival of the new Nizhny Novgorod governor Valery Shantsev, the former vice-mayor of Moscow.

Working on a creative replica of the monument to Minin and Pozharsky took Zurab Tsereteli two years. At first, a small working model was created - the one that is being displayed now in the Zurab Tsereteli Art Gallery. Then in St. Petersburg at the plant "Monumentskulptura" made a casting. However, the new monument can not be called a complete clone of the old. According to some sources, the Nizhny Novgorod duplicate is less than five centimeters smaller than the Moscow original, and on the other, by three. Martos cast his work of brass and copper, and Tsereteli - from bronze. In Moscow, Minin and Pozharsky weigh twenty tons, and their colleague in Nizhny Novgorod - six. The fact is that a copy of Zurab Konstantinovich made hollow. Another difference between the two monuments lies in a little noticeable detail. The inscription on the Moscow pedestal says: “To the citizen Minin and prince Pozharsky from the grateful Russia. The summer of 1818 ". Exactly the same inscription appears on the Nizhny Novgorod monument, but the attentive viewer will note that the year is not indicated on it.

Monument of Zurab Tsereteli was installed on November 4, 2005 on the Nizhny Novgorod Square of the National Unity. The place was not chosen by chance. Minin and Pozharsky stand here because the people's army was leaving the gates of the Kremlin, which are behind the backs of the militia leaders. From the porch, located near the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Kuzma Minin appealed to the citizens of Nizhny Novgorod to gather militia to defend Moscow from the Poles. On the opening day, a capsule with a message to descendants was laid in the foundation of the monument, the land from the city of Balakhna, where Kozma Minin was baptized, and the land from Suzdal from the homeland of Dmitry Pozharsky. The capsule will be opened in 2112 on the day of the 500th anniversary of the liberation of Moscow from the Polish interventionists.

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