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A Pond Too Small? Will Do For the Emperor – Moscow Authorities on Tsereteli’s Peter the Great

Moscow Summer 26
Zurab Tsereteli, Peter the Great

The Moscow powers assured the citizens and visitors that one of the landmark monuments will remain in its place. The monument commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy was designed by the famous painter and sculptor, Zurab Tsereteli, and was unveiled in 1997.

It it very uncertain if the citizens are happy to hear that: since it was open to the public, the monument has attracted a lot of criticism. It is 94m tall, being the tallest monument in Russia and one of world’s eight tallest monuments. Peter the Great, Russia’s first emperor-cum-reformer, is shown standing at the nose of a vessel, holding a parchment with the Act establishing the Navy. The vessel is elevated on a high pedestal consisting of smaller boats.

The main point of criticism has been that the monument is enormous for the spot where it stands. Indeed, whether you pass it on foot along the embankment or sail past it on the Moskva River, the feeling of being dominated by this massive construction is palpable. As the monument rises well above every other building in its vicinity, the entire spot does look odd.
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