In The Frame
In The Frame
In The Frame

Pushkin monument, a meeting point for Moscow protests, shut down for ‘restoration’

by The Art Newspaper  |  27 March 2017
Pushkin monument, a meeting point for Moscow protests, shut down for ‘restoration’
Anti-government protesters surround the Alexander Pushkin monument in downtown Moscow on Sunday, 26 March (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian authorities have hit on a novel solution for preventing anti-corruption protests. Or just maybe, an iconic monument to Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most important 19th century poet, really was in dire need of a touchup. Either way, the monument in Pushkin Square, created by the sculptor Alexander Opekushin and unveiled in 1880, was barricaded off on 27 March and shut down until September. That was just one day after it served as the focal point of the largest of dozens of anti-corruption rallies organised across Russia that resulted in over 1,000 arrests in Moscow alone. The Interfax news agency reported that restoration of the monument had started in July 2016 and was supposed to be completed by the end of last year. As it turns out, Moscow has a history of barricading monuments to poets to prevent public gatherings. Triumfalnaya Square, the site of a towering monument to the 20th century Russian and Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, was shut down in 2010-13 for an archaeological dig and reconstruction, once again soon after it was used as the site of opposition demonstrations.

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