New East Digital Archive

New monument to Stalin’s victims unveiled after 27-year wait

New monument to Stalin's victims unveiled after 27-year wait

20 November 2017

A new sculpture honouring the victims of Stalin’s Great Terror has been unveiled in Yekaterinburg almost three decades after being commissioned by local officials.

Ernst Neizvestny’s “Masks of Sorrow” was opened at the city’s Memorial Complex for the Victims of Political Repression on Monday following a 27-year wait.

The sculpture, which stands at three metres high, depicts two crying masks. One mask faces out towards Europe and the West, while the other looks out upon Asia.

Neizvestny first signed an agreement to create a monument for the complex back in 1990. The Yekaterinburg-native hoped that the sculpture would be one in a series of three monuments unveiled across Russia. Additional sculptures were planned in the cities of Magadan and Vorkuta to create what Neizvestny called his “triangle of sorrow”.

The first monument opened in Magadan in 1996, but long-running funding problems — as well as a row over the monument’s size — delayed the Yekaterinburg sculpture for another 21 years.

Neizvestny was unable to complete the project, and died in New York in 2016.