Friendship of the People and StoneFlower fountains at VDNKh to get a facelift

Friendship of the People and StoneFlower fountains at VDNKh to get a facelift
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
The job is expected to have been carried out by the beginning of the 2019 fountain season.

At VDNKh comprehensive restoration work will take place on the Friendship of the People and Stone Flower fountains for the first time in more than 60 years. Specialists will restore the gold smalt lining of the fountains’ decorative pieces and upgrade the engineering mechanism by the onset of the 2019 summer season.  

The Friendship of the People and Stone Flower fountains are on the nation’s cultural heritage list. The Department of Cultural Heritage (Mosgornaslediye) will be overseeing the makeover job, said Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov. 

This past summer, the 14 fountains lining VDNKh’s Central Alley and the unique Golden Spike fountain, which had been out of action for over 30 years, at last started flowing again. As the fountain season came to a close, it was high time to get down to restoring VDNKh’s main fountains – the Friendship of the People and Stone Flower. Until recently only emergency repairs or patching up jobs were carried out so that they looked alright when it came to their appearance. The fountains haven’t really been properly serviced for 64 years. Some of the repairs to do up the fountains so that they can more or less take on their original appearance will be carried out in workshops.   

The Friendship of the People project includes the restoration of the granite facing of the bowl and waterfall pools, as well as the frame supporting the 16 figures of young women, which has never been renovated before. The 16 golden statues, each of them symbolising a national republic in the Soviet Union, will be dismantled and taken to workshops where they will undergo restoration.    

Main entrance, main alley, main fountains: What to see at VDNKh

Specialists will also patch up the mosaic lining of the Stone Flower fountain. Smalt for this project is being made in Moscow and St Petersburg in keeping with the original method. Two varieties of mosaic designs will be used to cover various parts of the fountain – varicoloured mosaic made of marbled glass (opacified glass) and mosaic using gold leaf. The bronze food compositions decorating the Stone Flower parapet will be repaired in a workshop.

“One of the main reasons for the comprehensive repair work at VDNKh is to preserve the architectural uniqueness of its landmarks as much as possible and to highlight and restore  what has been forgotten or deemed to be lost,” Yemelyanov said.

In the new 2019 summer season, VDNKh visitors are expected to be delighted to see its unique fountains after renovation, including the Stone Flower, the Friendship of the People, 14 fountains along the Central Alley and the Golden Spike.

Work to give VDNKh a new lease on life began in 2014. Since then, 10 cultural heritage sites have been restored. In addition to the fountains, they include eight Soviet-era pavilions.