Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monument to Russian Emperor Nicholas II Installed in Serbian Capital [Belgrade] / "Royal Russia" October 14, 2014

Royal Russia
Paul Gilbert
October 14, 2014

Monument to Emperor Nicholas II
has been installed in the center of Belgrade, capital of Serbia
A new monument to Russian emperor Nicholas II has been installed in the center of Belgrade, in recognition of his support of Serbia and the Serbian people in 1914.

The monument arrived in the Serbian capital on Friday evening [Oct. 10, 2014]. Together with the pedestal, it stands at 7.5 meters in height and weighs over 40 tons. It took 6 hours to unload from the truck and nearly 13 hours to install with the help of a crane yesterday [Monday Oct. 13, 2014.]

The installation of the pedestal and sculpture was organized by two teams of specialists and workers from Russia, with the support of two local Serbian companies.

The monument’s creators, sculptor Andrei Kovalchuk and academician Gennady Pravotorov were on hand and directly involved with the monument’s installation.

Andrei Kovalchuk said that the work on the monument lasted six months. The sculpture is made from bronze, and the base - of granite. According to the sculptor, he found inspiration in the story of the Russian emperor coming to the aid of his country a century ago. "Russia and Serbia have always been fraternal powers" - said Kovalchuk.

Co-creator of the monument academician Gennady Pravotorov noted that the monument is dedicated to the Emperor, who at one time was admired and appreciated more in Serbia than in Russia. "Nicholas II lives in the hearts of Serbs long and fervently" - said Pravotorov. He went on to say that they did their best to achieve harmony with the sculpture and the spot were it would stand.

The monument is made in the classical tradition which is quite rare in contemporary Europe, Kovolchuk said and added that the pedestal contains details linking our era to the historical period honoured by the monument.

The monument to the Tsar Martyr is set in Devojacki Park on King Milan Street - near the place where the Embassy of the Russian Empire once stood - and in the immediate vicinity of the Russian House and the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. It was a gift of the Russian Federation to Serbia in honour of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The installation [took place before Russian President Vladimir Putin's forthcoming visit to the Serbian capital.]

The grand opening of the reconstructed park and monument to Emperor Nicholas II is scheduled for November 11th. The event will be attended by senior officials from Russia and Serbia, while the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed the hope that the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will consecrate this monument during his visit to Serbia in mid-November.

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of the 20th century a monument to Emperor Nicholas II stood in front of the Embassy of the Russian Empire in Belgrade.

Up until now, there were only two places of memory of the last Russian Tsar in Belgrade. At the Belgrade New Cemetery in 1935 was erected a memorial to "Russian Glory" on which is written: "Eternal Memory Emperor Nicholas II and two million Russian soldiers of the Great War." In 2013, a bust of Nicholas II was unveiled in the Russian House.


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