Moscow’s controversial Vladimir the Great statue has finally been unveiled at its new home near the Kremlin, after months of dispute.
The statue’s inauguration was timed to coincide with Russian National Unity Day.
Vladimir’s path to Moscow has been less than smooth. The statue was initially set to be 24 metres high and placed on Sparrow Hills, visible from much of Moscow. After tens of thousands of Muscovites signed a petition against this location, the Moscow authorities voted to erect the statue on Borovitskaya Ploshchad.
UNESCO criticised the choice of location, asserting that the monument could have a “negative impact” on the Kremlin’s “historical urban landscape”. The UN cultural and scientific body has still not officially approved the erection of the monument on Borovitskaya Ploshchad.
Vladimir the Great, who ruled over Kievan Rus’ and is recognised as having Christianised the Slavic cultures, is revered as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church and seen by many as a founding father. Opponents of the statue have argued, however, that Moscow is an inappropriate location for the monument, as Vladimir ruled from Kiev and has no links to Moscow, which did not exist at the time of his rule.
Source: BBC News