Beauty will save

Beauty in everything

Museon Park of the Fallen Heroes in Moscow

Sculpture by Vera Mukhina, Museon Park in Moscow

Sculpture by Vera Mukhina, Museon Park in Moscow

Museon Park of the Fallen Heroes in Moscow
Russia’s only museum of sculpture in the open, the park “Museon” began with the dismantled Soviet sculptures. However, now there you can find a variety of monuments, sculptures and styles. Founded in 1992, it was originally conceived as an art park in the neighborhood to the Tretyakov Gallery and the Central House of the artist. Meanwhile, the collection now consists of more than 700 sculptures, and many of them are outstanding monuments of the Soviet era. In particular, the monument by great Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina and Shadr to Maxim Gorky, or a piece of sculpture (copy) by Vuchetich “Stand to the death”, as well as monuments of culture and architecture of XVIII-XX centuries.

Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great

However, the story of the sculptural park is quite a paradox. On August 22, 1991, the first day after failure of the attempted coup in Moscow, a huge crowd gathered at the KGB building on Lubyanka Square. The excited crowd wanted to destroy a monument to the first KGB chief Felix Dzerzhinsky, which stood then in the center of the square. Someone climbed the tall monument and threw a steel cable around the statue’s neck. Besides, they tied the other end to a truck. This was a dangerous undertaking, because the statue weighed 87 tons! Luckily, the truck did not have enough power to move the monument.

Having found out about the situation, Yuri Luzhkov, at that time the Vice Mayor of Moscow, decided to take monument down with crane. He told the crowd about it, and people gradually quieted down. But they did not leave. They waited.

In his book “We Are Your Children, Moscow”, Yuri Luzhkov recalls: “When powerful construction machines with a brigade of firemen finally arrived around 11 p.m., the square was all eyes”.

The construction workers had never had an audience before. They quickly removed the mountings. To the sound of joyful cries, ‘Iron Felix’ raised into the air. The crowd was overjoyed, and photos of the event appeared in every newspaper.

The idol was put on a platform, and nobody knew where to take it. Someone suggested putting the statue on the green behind the Central House of Artists. It was an excellent idea. My long-term dream – to collect all of the bronze and granite Soviet leaders, heroes, and kolkhoz women, put a fence around them, and let children play there – was coming true. As they grow up, they will come to understand what kind of an epoch that had been, when ‘people’s power’ wanted to immortalize itself in the memory of its descendants with such monsters.”

Fortunately, to the toppled socialist idols soon added ordinary sculptures by contemporary artists who wanted their works to be accessible to art lovers, rather than gathering dust in art studios.

Meanwhile, thousands of people visit the Central House of Artists daily, and during large exhibitions, tens of thousands. At first, sculptures were on the green in front of the building’s facade, but later they were moved behind the building.

Despite the huge differences in form and material, the statues get along fine outdoors. Indeed, there is even a certain harmony induced by the contrasts between them. The silent expressions of these stone and metal behemoths give us a new perspective on humanity and its place in the world.

According to Victor Hugo, architecture is frozen music. Continuing this thought one could say that these sculptures represent frozen time.

Museon Park of the Fallen Heroes in Moscow

sources
muzeon.ru
fotki.yandex.ru/users/pvera2006