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Moscow street named after singer Vladimir Vysotsky unveiled

Moscow street named after singer Vladimir Vysotsky unveiled
Russian stamp in commemoration of Vladimir Vysotsky, 1999 (Image: Andrei Sdobnikov under a CC licence)

13 August 2015

A central Moscow street has been renamed after the cult Soviet singer, poet and actor Vladimir Vysotsky.

Earlier this year, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin approved the proposal to unite two former cul-de-sacs near the Taganka theatre known as Verkhny Tagansky and Nizhny Tagansky under a new name in honour of the legendary performer.

Yesterday’s ceremony to mark the unveiling of the new street signs was led by Vysotsky’s son, Nikita, who expressed regret that the process had taken nearly 35 years.

“I must admit that I was not hopeful, because the discussions about a Vysotsky Street in Moscow have been going on since my father’s death. Since the end of the 80s there have been letters, messages, assurances, but nothing was done. I’m pleased that this has happened,” he said.

A street sign has been placed directly on the façade of the Taganka theatre, where Vysotsky appeared on stage from 1964 until the final days of his life.

The selection of the two cul-de-sacs has been a source of controversy, as some have argued that the streets are too modest and unimportant to bear Vysotsky’s name.

However, the director of the Taganka theatre, Irina Apeksimova, stated that the chosen location had symbolic meaning.

“It’s fantastic that the cul-de-sacs are finally being turned into a street, and in the name of a great man,” she added.

Vladimir Vysotsky was known for his unique singing style and songs featuring social and political commentary. Considered subversive by the Soviet authorities, Vysotsky gained immense fame by means of his appearances in clubs, factories, and universities and through the mass distribution of homemade tape recordings. He died in 1980 aged 42, but continues to be an influential figure.