No Vladimir the Great statue on Sparrow Hills

No Vladimir the Great statue on Sparrow Hills
The Vladimir the Great monument as it might have looked on Sparrow Hills. (Visualisation by Dmitry Chistoprudov)

1 July 2015

The Moscow authorities have decided against erecting a statue of Vladimir the Great on Sparrow Hills.

According to Vladimir Resin, an adviser to the mayor of Moscow, the statue could be located instead on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, where a likeness of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder and first head of the Soviet secret police, previously stood.

Tens of thousands of Muscovites had signed a petition against the placement of the statue on Sparrow Hills, after the decision was taken without public consultation. The statue, which is 24 metres high, would have been visible from much of Moscow.

The statue itself has also been a source of controversy. 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.