New East Digital Archive

Russia’s competition to design new monument to Solzhenitsyn extended

8 December 2017

The competition to design a new monument to Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn has been extended after judges ruled that none of the entries were good enough to preserve the writer’s memory.

The winning design for the new statue was due to be announced at a special ceremony on 7 December. Instead the jury chose four finalists to continue working on the project, using the judges’ feedback.

The teams, which were chosen from more than 70 entries, have only been identified as numbers. They will resubmit their work in mid-January.

The organisation behind the competition, the Russian Architect’s Union, said that the decision had been made to “find the best sculptural expression for [Solzhenitsyn]: one which is worthy of his memory and the principles he expresses even to this day”.

It also said that the current entries hadn’t ensured that the statue’s scale and composition fit with its surroundings in a historic Moscow boulevard.

Writer, novelist and historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his crusade against the Soviet Gulag system. His works include pivotal pieces such as One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago.

The new monument, which was commissioned to mark the centenary of the writer’s birth, will stand on Alexander Solzhenitsyn Street in the Russian capital.