New monument of Imperial Family to be installed at Murmansk airport

PHOTO: artist concept of new monument to the Imperial Family at the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport (above); and the monument of Emperor Nicholas II and his family by the Russian sculptor Semyon Platonov (below)

In June 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the airport in the Russian arctic city of Murmansk would be renamed in honour of Emperor Nicholas II. Murmansk, Russia’s first ice free port was founded in 1916 by Nicholas II and named Romanov-on-Murman.

In the autumn of 2018 a nationwide online poll was held in which the Russian people could cast votes to rename 42 major airports across Russia. More than 5.5 million people took part in the ‘Great Names of Russia’ poll. More than 140,000 people in the Murmansk region took part in the poll on the renaming of Murmansk Airport. The names of Ivan Papanin and Boris Safonov were among the candidates, however. Russia’s last Tsar received 68,260 votes or 48% of the total votes tallied.

In December 2019, the head of the Kola District Administration announced plans to expand and modernize the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport, which includes construction of a second terminal for flights within Russia began in 2021. The name of Nicholas II will be placed on the facades of each of the two terminals.

In addition is the reconstruction of the square in front of the main air terminal, of which several projects were considered. Initially, a bust-monument of Nicholas II was proposed, however, this idea has now been shelved.

In November 2020, a permanent photo exhibition dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II has opened in the terminal building of Murmansk Airport.

PHOTO: artist concept of the square in memory of Emperor Nicholas II at Murmansk Airport (above); and view of the of new monument to the Imperial Family to be installed in the center of the square (below)

On 26th January 2023, the architecture and landscaping firm Хмель in St Petersburg, published an artist’s concept by architect Marina Khmel of the new square in front of the Nicholas II-Murmansk Airport, the highlight of which will be a major sculptural composition of the last Russian Imperial Family.

The square in memory of Emperor Nicholas II will feature landscaped gardens with flowerbeds and trees, as well a place for holding events, information stands and temporary outdoor exhibitions. The square will also include a quiet space for travelers to rest, and a platform for boarding and disembarking from buses and cars.

In the center of the park will be a monument of Emperor Nicholas II and his family by the Russian sculptor Semyon Platonov. The sculptural composition is based on a famous photograph from 1913, which depicts Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna surrounded by their five children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei.

© Paul Gilbert. 28 January 2023