This year, the city will restore and clean more than a hundred monuments, sculptures and artistic gravestones, including the 12 busts found in Scientists Alley outside of Moscow State University.
There are also plans to develop restoration projects throughout the year for six major monumental sculptures in Moscow, including two monuments to Nikolai Gogol and the sculpture of Yuri Dolgoruky on Tverskaya Square.
Busts of scientists, The Four Seasons and other monuments are earmarked for restoration this year
All the 12 busts in Scientists Alley outside of Moscow State University will be renovated this year, according to the Department of Cultural Heritage. Many famous sculptors contributed to the creation of the Alley over the period from 1949 to 1953. Their works include the busts of university founder Mikhail Lomonosov, chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev, mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, inventor Alexander Popov and publicist Alexander Herzen.
“Restoration workers will clean off all types of dirt from the monuments,” the department’s press service said. “They will also carry out structural reinforcement work on stone surfaces, eliminate defects and restore any missing parts.”
During the final stage, restoration workers will apply a protective layer designed to preserve the monuments’ stone surfaces in order to prevent them from falling further into decay.
The bronze bust of the founder of modern agrobiology Vasily Williams, which rests on a granite base, will also be renovated this year. Created by sculptor Samuil Makhtin and architect Isidor Frantsuz, the bust was erected in front of the Timiryazev Academy in 1947.
Another restoration project in Petrovsko-Razumovskoye manor slated for this year will target The Four Seasons composition which dates back to the 18th century. The statues Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter that make up the composition symbolise human life cycle, from childhood to youth, then adulthood followed by old age.
Allegorical bronze statues by Vera Mukhina, Water and Earth (1957) currently located at Luzhniki have also been earmarked for restoration.
Another monument to be cleaned and scrubbed is Lenin the Gymansium Student created in 1970. The sculptor Vladimir Tsigal’s bronze figure of a young Vladimir Ulyanov stands in front of the Palace of Young Pioneers on Ogorodnaya Sloboda Pereulok.
According to the Department of Cultural Heritage, over two dozen artistic gravestones at the Miusskoye, Vagankovskoye and Armyanskoye cemeteries and the grave sculpture of People’s Artist of the USSR Georgy Nelepp (1904–1957) at the Novodevichye Cemetery are scheduled for restoration.
“The list of the city’s cultural heritage sites includes 2,005 artistic grave sculptures and graves,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage. “The department is constantly monitoring the condition of all monuments and artistic grave sculptures to ensure their integrity.”
Laser 3-D scanning: Work to prepare for the restoration of monuments to Nikolai Gogol and Yuri Dolgoruky gets underway
This year, the Department of Cultural Heritage will develop projects to renovate several major monuments, including the monument to Yuri Dolgoruky (1952) on Tverskaya Square and two monuments to Nikolai Gogol – one on Gogolevsky Boulevard (1909) and the other on Nikitsky Boulevard (1952).
The renovation plan will also be developed for the monument to the revolutionary Vatslav Vorovsky that was erected in 1924 on the square bearing his name next to Bolshaya Lubyanskaya Street.
The department also plans to take a closer look at the monument to the agrochemist Dmitry Pryanishnikov (1973) outside of the Timiryazev Academy and the sculptural composition dedicated to author Alexander Fadeyev (1973) on Miusskaya Square. The composition features the author with a book in his hand, surrounded by characters from his novels The Rout and The Young Guard.
Measurements of all the six monuments will be taken using laser 3-D scanning, which will allow cultural heritage specialists to create three-dimensional copies of the monuments. Specialists will also delve into the monument archives to examine how the monuments were created and what happened to them. The work on the six monuments is scheduled to begin in 2018.
Contemporary monuments: Sculpture Moscow – Petushki and a monument to Sergei Obraztsov
Over three dozen contemporary monumental sculptures not on the list of cultural heritage sites will also be renovated this year. They will include the monument to Sergei Obrazsov, which was erected on Sadovaya-Samotyochnaya Street in 2006, next to the entrance to the State Puppet Theatre that he founded.
Also, slated for renovation this year is the sculptural composition Moscow – Petushki erected in 2007 to commemorate the author of the post-modernist prose-poem of the same name, Venedikt Yerofeyev. The monument stands in a public garden on Borby Square in central Moscow. Designed by Valery Kuznetsov and Sergei Mantserov, the composition consists of two sculptures: one is of Venichka waiting for a Petushki-bound commuter, and the other is of the woman he loved. The bases of the sculptures bear quotations from the poem.
Alexei Yemelyanov said that last year 83 monument and grave sculptures were restored and put in order and restoration projects for an additional 102 landmarks have been developed.
“This year, we plan to carry out another 119 restoration projects in Moscow,” Yemelyanov added. “The Mayor and Moscow Government’s approval of the programme to restore monumental sculptures and historical grave sculptures in Moscow served as the go-ahead for these ambitious restoration works.”