Act of historical justice: restored bust of Nicholas II returned to Livadia

PHOTO: the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia

On the morning of 27th September, a restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled and consecrated on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross – the home church of the Russian Imperial Family, at Livadia Palace in Crimea. The event is dedicated to the 111th anniversary of the Grand Livadia Palace.

The sculptural image was discovered at Livadia in 1994 by Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov, a representative of the Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture. Due to the extensive damage, which consisted of extensive mold and bullet holes, Permyakov was unaware of the identity of the bust, however, he was convinced that it was that of an important statesman from the Tsarist era.

He contacted People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov (1939-2006) who, after conducting a comparative analysis of historic photographs and portraits of the Russian Imperial Family from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, Klykov came to the conclusion that this was a bust of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.

The restoration of the bust was financed by the Russian philanthropist, and honorary member of the board of trustees of the Public International Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture Sergei Kozubenko. Klykov removed the mold and repaired the damage inflicted by Bolshevik bullets.

PHOTO: detail of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia

In 2003, a new bust was cast from the restored bust, and installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love in Kursk. The bust marked the historic visit and stay of Emperor Nicholas II and members of the Imperial Family at the large military maneuvers, held on the outskirts of the city in August-September 1902.

A plaster copy of the bust was also installed in the central columned hall of the Fund for Slavic Literature and Culture in Moscow.

According to the restoration plan of the sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov, the bust had to return to its’ historical place, the Livadia Palace, the residence of Emperor Nicholas II, situated on the southern coast of Crimea. This return was supposed to symbolize the restoration of the connection between the generations of Russians, broken as a result of the revolution and the Civil War. To become a symbol of repentance and the return of modern Russia to its historical roots, the origins of its cultural identity.

Sadly, the great sculptor did not live to see the realization of his plan. Klykov’s idea was implemented by his friend, Sergey Pavlovich Kozubenko, who organized the return of the bust to Livadia Palace.

PHOTO: Sergei Kozubenko (left), and Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov (second from right), at the unveiling of the restored bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia,

The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Crimea Tatyana Manezhina , noting the importance of a respectful attitude to the historical and cultural heritage of the country.

“Each monument of history and culture embodies a tangible connection between the past and the present, which allows for the study of national history for future generations. It is especially important and significant that public organizations and individuals take part in the preservation and popularization of Russia’s cultural heritage. I am sure that our joint efforts will contribute to the preservation of the traditions and rich spiritual heritage of Russia,” the minister stated.

PHOTO: view of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, which is connected by a gallery to the palace

Tatyana Manezhina also expressed her gratitude to the staff of the Republican Museum, representatives of the Public International Fund for Slavic Culture and Literature, personally to Sergei Kozubenko for his initiative and assistance in finding and restoring the lost and damaged sculptural image of the former owner of the Livadia Palace, Emperor Nicholas II.

The consecration of the bust was performed by Nestor Bishop of Yalta. The event was attended by Sergey Kozubenko, Head of the Yalta city administration Yanina Pavlenko , local government officials, members of the clergy, and the general public.

VIDEO: unveiling and consecration of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia. Click to watch.

A total of four monuments to Emperor Nicholas II have now been installed in Crimea: two on the grounds of Livadia Palace, one in Evpatoria and one in Alushta.

© Paul Gilbert. 27 September 2022

Monument to Nicholas II consecrated in Ivanovo region

The unveiling and consecration of a new bust-monument to Emperor Nicholas II took place on 5th August, on the grounds of St. George’s Church, situatedin the village of Vali (the formerly Georgievskoye), situated in the Kineshma district of the Ivanovo region.

The consecration of the bust-monument was performed by the former rector of St. George’s Church, and now Bishop Methodius of Kamensky and Kamyshlovsky.

The bust-monument was installed in memory of Emperor Nicholas II’s visit here during the events marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. It was on 18th May 1913, that the last Russian Tsar with the August family, while traveling on the steamship Mezhen from Nizhny Novgorod to Kostroma, made an unscheduled stop here. He was so taken by the beauty of the village and its church, that he left gifts, including an icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow”.

PHOTO: final touches were made on the installation of the bust-monument last week

The bust was made by craftsmen from the Kursk region with funds raised by parishioners and sponsors. St. George’s Church was built at the beginning of the 19th century on the left bank of the Volga River. During the Soviet era, the church was not closed, nor was it subjected to desecration. To this day, the church has maintained its original decoration intact.

PHOTO: the consecration of the bust-monument to Nicholas II was performed on 5th August, on the grounds of of St. George’s Church, situated in the Kineshma district of the Ivanovo region

© Paul Gilbert. 6 August 2022

Night Liturgy at Tsarskoye Selo, 16/17 July 2022

PHOTO: the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral at Tsarskoye Selo

On the night of 16/17 July, a solemn Divine Liturgy was held in the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral at Tsarskoye Selo, in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs who were murdered that same date in 1918, in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg.

A large number of worshipers gathered for the Divine Litury, led by the rector of the cathedral, Father Herman Ranne, co-served by the clergy of the cathedral.

Every year on this day, people from Pushkin [Tsarskoye Selo], St. Petersburg and other towns, come to the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral to prayerfully honour the memory of the last Russian emperor and his family.

Following the Divine Liturgy, a Cross Procession was held around the cathedral.

A brief history of the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral

On 2nd September (O.S. 20th August) 1909, Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II laid the first foundation stone for the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo, which became the house church of the Imperial Family, while they were in residence in the nearby Alexander Palace.

A solemn Divine Liturgy was performed by His Grace Theophan, Bishop of Yamburg (1872-1940), attended by the Emperor and members of his family. The cathedral was built in the old Russian style. Three years later, on the same day in 1912, the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral was consecrated.

The Cave Church, situated in the Lower Church, where the Imperial Family came to pray, was consecrated in memory of St. Seraphim of Sarov (there was a special “royal room” in the church), and the upper church was consecrated in memory of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God, the patron icon of the Romanov family. During the days of Great Lent, the Emperor remained to pray in the church until late at night.

After the revolution, the cathedral was closed, it was badly damaged during the Great Patriotic War. In 1991 the cathedral was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, restoration of the Cathedral lasted nearly 20 years.. Russia’s first monument to Nicholas II was established on the grounds of the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral in 1993.

Click HERE to view more colour photos of the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral, during a visit by a modern-day group of Cossacks in January 2020

PHOTO: worshipers gather at the monument to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, located in the garden behind the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral

First monument to Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia

Situated in the garden behind the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral at Tsarskoye Selo, is the monument to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, created by the St. Petersburg sculptor Victor Vladimirovich Zaiko (born 1944).

Erected and consecrated on 17th July 1993, it was the first monument to Nicholas II to be erected in Post-Soviet Russia.

The monument stands in front of a small group of oak trees, seen in the background, which were planted by Nicholas II and his family on 4 May (O.S. 21 April) 1913. Of the seven trees planted, only four have survived to the present day.

© Paul Gilbert. 21 July 2022

Memorial plaque in memory of Nicholas II’s 1904 visit to Penza returned

PHOTO: memorial plaque in memory of Emperor Nicholas II’s visit to Penza in 1904

On 19th June 2022, a memorial plaque installed at the beginning of the 20th century on one of the columns of the Cathedral of the Saviour [aka Spassky Cathedral] in memory of Emperor Nicholas II’s visit to Penza in 1904 was returned to the Penza Diocese. During his visit, the sovereign held a review of Russian troops who were being sent to the Russo-Japanese War, followed by a liturgy held in the Cathedral of the Saviour.

This memorial plaque, installed by the Penza City Duma, became the first memorial plaque in the Penza region. The inscription on it reads: “His Imperial Majesty the Sovereign Emperor Nikolai Alexandrovich and His Imperial Highness the Sovereign Heir Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich deigned to visit the Penza Cathedral and prayed at this place on June 28, 1904 at 11 ½ o’clock in the afternoon.”

The words on the commemorative plaque turned out to be prophetic. The cathedral, located on the Cathedral Square of the city was blown up by the Bolsheviks in 1934. In 2010, reconstruction of the cathedral began, and took 12 years to complete.

On 19th June 2022, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia performed the rite of the Great Consecration of the Cathedral of the Saviour in Penza, concelebrated by the clergy of the Penza diocese, and read out a decree on conferring the status of a cathedral.

PHOTO: Igor Sergeevich Shishkin (right) holds the historic memorial plaque, during the handing over ceremony at the Cathedral of the Saviour, on 19th June 2022

For decades it was believed that the memorial plaque had been lost or destroyed. This was based on the recollections of Penza residents, who recalled that in February 1918, armed Bolsheviks came to the cathedral and smashed the plaque with their rifle butt. But as it turned out, the plaque miraculously survived. The parishioners hid it by burying it in the ground not far from the cathedral.

About twenty years ago, rumours surfaced that the memorial plaque had survived and was mostly intact [only a corner was broken off]. Local historians carried out a search of the former grounds, as a result of which the plaque ended up in the hands of the famous Penza collector Igor Sergeevich Shishkin, who today returned the memorial plaque to its rightful place.

The handover ceremony of the memorial plaque took place before the great consecration of the Cathedral of the Saviour, which was performed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia during his primatial visit to the Penza Diocese.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 June 2022

New monument to Nicholas II installed in Vladimir

On Saturday 11th June – the eve of Russia Day and the feast of the Holy Trinity – a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled on the grounds of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, located on Muzeynaya Street in Vladimir, Russia. The flags of the Russian Federation and the Russian Empire were placed on either side of the monument.

The bronze monument was created by the famous Vladimir sculptor Ilya Shanin. The pedestal was created by Nikolai Andrianov, and the memorial plaques by Yuri Tumarkin and artist Olga Rozanova.

  • Readers may recall that I reported on this new monument back in late 2021. Click HERE to read this article – PG

The initiative to install the monument came from the rector of the Holy Trinity Church, Father Evgeny Borovskikh, and Ilya Shanin. A fundraiser was announced in November 2021, the cost of casting and installation of the monument amounted to 1.5 million rubles [$20,000 USD], the entire amount of which was raised by private donors.

In January 2022, sculptor Ilya Shanin announced that he wanted the installation of the monument to take place in May 2023, to coincide with 110th anniversary of the Emperor’s only visit to Vladimir, on 16th May 1913.

PHOTOS: Close up views of the sculpture and pedestal

The bronze monument of Nicholas II was made at a factory in Smolensk. He is presented from the waist up wearing a ceremonial uniform, with a ribbon over his shoulder, crosses, orders and medals. The height of the monument is 125 centimeters [app. 4 ft.] without the pedestal. The granite pedestal was made in St. Petersburg. On the pedestal there is an inscription «Государь император Николай II» – “Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II”.

The monument is set against the backdrop of a large colourized photograph of the Imperial Family. The photo is famous, and part of a series taken in 1913 marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. These black-and-white photos were mass produced and sold as postcards, the proceeds of which went to various charities supported by the Imperial Family.

It is interesting to add, that within 24 hours of the announcement of plans to install this monument to Emperor Nicholas II, local Bolsheviks and atheists reared their ugly heads in protest. The local branch of the Communist Party opposed its installation. The communists declared that they were “categorically against perpetuating the memory of ‘Nicholas the Bloody'”, as he organized the mass execution of unarmed workers in St. Petersburg and dragged Russia into two unnecessary wars.

Apparently, access to the monument is at present only possible during worship. The rest of the time the gates to the church are closed. Despite this, Vladimir residents still come to look at the bronze Nicholas II and take photos through the fence bars (see photo below).

It is known that Nicholas II came to Vladimir only once – on 16th May 1913, as part of the celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.

The Vladimir Region is now home to two of Russia’s finest monuments to Emperor Nicholas II. In September 2021, Russia’s second largest monument to Nicholas II [featuring 8 colour photos + VIDEO] was also installed in the village of Sanino, Petushinsky District, Vladimir Region.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 June 2022

Memorial plaque to Nicholas II and his mother unveiled in Kostroma

PHOTO: memorial plaque to Emperor Nicholas II and his mother Empress Maria Feodorovna unveiled and consecrated on 15th January 2022, on the facade of the Oncological Dispensary – the former Feodorovskaya Hospital in Kostroma

On 15th January 2022, a memorial plaque bearing the images of Emperor Nicholas II and his mother Empress Maria Feodorovna was officially unveiled and consecrated on the facade of the Oncological Dispensary – the former Feodorovskaya Hospital in Kostroma.

The memorial plaque was officially unveiled by the mayor of Kostroma, Yuri Zhurin, and the chairman of the Society of the Historical Russian Imperial Red Cross, Count Sergei Kapnist. At the end of the ceremony, Metropolitan Ferapont of Kostroma and Nerekhta consecrated the memorial plaque, sprinkling it with holy water.

Constructed in 1911-1913, the hospital fell under the administration of a community of sisters of mercy of the Red Cross in the name of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Mother of God.

The hospital was considered one of the most advanced in Russia of the time. The hospital was under the patronage of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, who served as president of Russia’s Red Cross during the First World War.

PHOTO: Nicholas II and his daughters visit the Feodorovskaya Hospital in Kostroma, 20th May 1913

During the celebrations marking 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty in 1913, Emperor Nicholas II and his four daughters Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia visited the hospital on 20th May.

During the First World War, the hospital was used as an infirmary for wounded Russian soldiers. Currently, it is one of the buildings of the oncological dispensary.

The memorial plaque was made with the support of the Russian Red Cross Society and the Union of Historical and Educational Societies “Heritage of the Empire”, was installed on the building’s façade on 14th November 2021.

Repair and restoration work has been completed on the facade of the architectural monument. Funding was provided by the Kostroma Regional Anti-Cancer Charitable Foundation and the Heritage Charitable Foundation.

The inscription translated reads:

“The hospital building was built by the Russian Red Cross Society and with the personal participation of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. In May 1913, Emperor Nicholas visited the hospital.”

© Paul Gilbert. 16 January 2022

Bolsheviks and atheists oppose installation of a monument to Nicholas II in Vladimir

PHOTO: the clay model of the monument to Nicholas II by sculptor Ilya Shanin

Within 24 hours of the announcement of plans to install a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II this summer in Vladimir, opponents reared their ugly heads in protest. It should come as no surprise, that the statements issued by both communist and atheist opposition groups wreak of historical inaccuracies and hypocrisy.

According to Russian media sources, the initiative was first criticized by the regional branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The party’s statement says that local communists are “categorically opposed to perpetuating the memory of ‘Nicholas the Bloody‘ because he organized the mass execution of unarmed workers in St. Petersburg and dragged Russia into two unnecessary wars.

“The cynicism of the initiative is further aggravated by the fact that 2022 is the year marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the most developed and fairest state in the world, thanks to whose legacy the Russian Federation still exists. The installation of a monument to the unfortunate tsar who denied his people civil rights and the Constitution looks like blasphemy and mockery not only of common sense, but also of the victorious people,” the regional branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation argued in a statement.

It is interesting to note that these same communists themselves work to immortalize the name of Stalin in Vladimir. In 2015, a bust of Stalin was installed near the offices of the Vladimir regional committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. It was later moved to a private property, along with monuments to other Soviet leaders. Recently, they proposed to rename a street in honour of the Soviet dictator, or at least hang a memorial plaque in his honour.

It is interesting – and yet not surprising – that the communists prefer to overlook the fact that Joseph Stalin remains one of the most notorious figures in history, one whose legacy is stained with the blood of millions of innocent Russians, through collectivization, famine, terror campaigns, disease, war and mortality rates in the Gulag. Sadly, we may never know the actual numbers, but the number of victims is estimated to be in the millions.

PHOTO: Metropolitan Tikhon of Vladimir and Suzdal

In addition, the Vladimir branch of the All-Russian public organization “Atheists of Russia” have also voiced their opposition to the monument to Nicholas II in the city. The activists sent an appeal to Metropolitan Tikhon of Vladimir and Suzdal, in which they asked to prohibit the installation of the monument, even though the monument is to be installed on the grounds of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity.

“In the history of Russia, perhaps, it is impossible to find rulers to whom society treated so negatively as to Nicholas Romanov, who received the nickname “bloody” among the people. The majority associate Nicholas Romanov with the powerlessness and illiteracy of the population of Russia, the shooting of peaceful demonstrators, obscurantism, failed wars, etc. “

Members of the organization believe that the implementation of the project may lead to conflicts on religious grounds in the Vladimir region. What nonsense!

It should be noted, that the installation of the proposed monument to Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, has not yet been approved by Metropolitan Tikhon. Despite this, the rector of the church announced a fundraising initiative for its construction on 7th November 2021.

© Paul Gilbert. 11 January 2022

New monument to Nicholas II to be installed in Vladimir

PHOTO: the clay model of the monument to Nicholas II by sculptor Ilya Shanin

A new monument to Emperor Nicholas II will be installed later this year on the grounds of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in the Russian city of Vladimir.

The monument is created by the famous Vladimir sculptor Ilya Shanin. The pedestal will be created by Nikolai Andrianov, and the memorial plaques by Yuri Tumarkin and artist Olga Rozanova.

The emperor will be presented from the waist up wearing a ceremonial uniform, with a ribbon over his shoulder, crosses, orders and medals. The height of the sculpture without a pedestal is 125 centimeters [app. 4 ft.]. According to Shanin, the sculpture has been completed, the removal of the mould from the clay model will be done next. The monument will be cast from bronze at a plant in Smolensk.

The monument will be erected on the grounds of the Vladimir Trinity Church on Museum Street, to the left of the entrance. A pedestal will be erected for the sculpture, the area around monument will be landscaped.

It is planned that funds for the casting and installation of the monument will be collected with the help of donations. According to Ilya Shanin, the project will cost about 1.5 million rubles [$20,000 USD]. The sculptor estimates that the monument will be unveiled in the summer of 2022.

PHOTO: the wall of the cell of the gatekeeper of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Vladimir, is decorated with a mural of marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of the Imperial Family. The Russian caption reads 1918 прости нас государь 2018 / 1918 Forgive us Sovereign 2018

According to Shanin, the idea to install the monument of the Emperor near the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, belongs to Father Eugene. During divine liturgies, he often prays for Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered in Ekaterinburg on 17th July 1918.

Ilya Shanin is a parishioner of the church. He believes that the numerous troubles and catastrophes of the Russian people during the 20th century are partly a punishment for the bloody murder of the Imperial Family in the Ipatiev House. The sculptor hopes that the monument to the emperor will give people a purpose to delve into history or start discussions about the life and reign of Nicholas II, but will also help people look into themselves, repent and to pray for forgiveness.

The installation of the monument to Nicholas II in Vladimir will be a first for the city. The only monument to a Russian monarch was that of Emperor Alexander II, which was installed in 1913 on Cathedral Square, in front of the bank building. After the February Revolution of 1917, it was removedfrom the pedestal, and replaced with a sculpture of the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin.

Note that Nicholas II visited Vladimir once, on 16th May 1913. Together with members of the Imperial Family, he visited the ancient city in the year marking the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov. It was on this day, that a solemn meeting was organized on the platform of the Vladimir railway station, after which Nicholas II visited the Assumption Cathedral.

© Paul Gilbert. 10 January 2022

Bust of Nicholas II planned for Achinsk

On 15-16 [O.S. 2-3] July 1891, Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich [the future Emperor Nicholas II], visited Achinsk on his journey across Siberia to St. Petersburg.

Achinsk is a city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, located on the right bank of the Chulym River near its intersection with the Trans-Siberian Railway, 184 kilometers (114 mi) west of Krasnoyarsk.

On 10th December, a planning committee met to discuss plans to install a bust-memorial of Nicholas Alexandrovich to mark his historic visit to the city 130 years ago.

“Nicholas II was not only a political leader, under which our country became one of the three most advanced countries in industrial production, but also became one of the spiritual centers of the world,” says Viktor Barykin, an Achinsk ethnographer, one of the members of the initiative group. “The bust should become a symbol of our spiritual unity and the reconciliation of all forces in the name of the future of Russia,” he added.

Having considered various options, the participants in the initiative group agreed that the bust must be made of bronze, and the pedestal must be granite. As Achinsk lacks the technical ability to fulfill such an order, specialists from Moscow will be consulted.

According to preliminary calculations, together with the pedestal, the work will cost about 900 thousand rubles [$12,300 USD]. It is unlikely that the city’s budget will be able to allocate that kind of money, therefore bringing the project to fruition will depend on the financial support of patrons and private donations. If every resident of Achinsk contributes at least 10 rubles, this will be enough. In the near future, a special account will be registered to which a person can make a donation for this good cause. The option of participation in the city program, which provides for the financing of initiative projects, is also being considered, but the application cannot be submitted until March of next year.

If all goes according to plan, the bust can be opened for the 340th anniversary of Achinsk, which will be celebrated in 2023. The bust is planned to be installed in Trinity Park, next to the Poklonny Cross on the site of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the future Emperor went to pray, and later destroyed by the the Communists in the 1930s.

A preliminary sketch of the proposed bust-monument has already been made: Nicholas II is depicted as a young man – that year when he visited Achinsk, he was only 23 years old.

“It should not be a monument for the sake of a monument,” – said the artist and Honorary Citizen of Achinsk Pavel Batanov, who was unanimously elected as the chairman of the initiative group. “First of all, the bust-monument should combine royalty, humanity, and holiness. The main thing is that it should be created at a high professional level.”

© Paul Gilbert. 13 December 2021

Eccentric sculpture of Nicholas II and his family unveiled in Yalta

PHOTO: Imperial Family monument in Yalta, by the sculptor Yuri Mayorov

On 1st October 2021, a new and yet eccentric sculpture to Emperor Nicholas II and his family was installed in Yalta, one which has raised the eyebrows of local residents and a wave of criticism and ridicule.

The monument by sculptor Yuri Mayorov, depicts the Imperial Family enveloped by the wings of an angel, was unveiled on the grounds of the former “Livadia” sanatorium, which is situated near the famous Imperial palace.

Yalta residents took to social media to share their negative opinions of the sculpture, describing the wings as a “strange toothy shell” and to associate it with a “plant-predator”, or the “armour of an armadillo”, or various vulgarities of the “Freudian” sense.

For some locals, the sculpture resembles a “cocoon” and reminiscent of the “xenomorph egg” from the movie “Alien”. Other critics, noted that the faces of the members of the Imperial Family look “dead and sketchy”, while others criticized the holes in the “angel’s” wings, because they resembled bullet holes,

PHOTO: detail of Grand Duchess Olga and Emperor Nicholas II

The sculptural composition was installed five meters from the monument to the participants of the Yalta Conference – Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. The installation of the monument depicting the murdered members of the Imperial Family near that of a monument to Stalin seemed unethical to many.

The unusual sculpture was installed on the grounds of Kurort Livadia LLC, which owns the former Livadia sanatorium. The project and its installation is that of the White Eagle Monarchist Society.

The sculpture was paid for by businessman Konstantin Malofeev, a devout monarchist, who openly supports the restoration of monarchy in Russia. Unfortunately, he openly supports the claim of Princess Maria Vladimirovna and her son Prince George Romanov-Hohenzollern. Malofeev is the owner of the Tsargrad TV channel, and the Tsargrad LLC – the founder of the Livadia Resort company.

UPDATE: SCULPTURE DISMANTLED on 11th December

Earlier today, the controversial sculpture of the Imperial Family was dismantled and taken away from its location on the former “Livadia” sanatorium, situated near the famous Imperial palace.

“There was a wave of negativity in relation to our monument. People began to write that they would come and destroy it. To spare the monument from vandalism, we decided to move it to a safe place. It will be stored in a closed area, I don’t want to tell its location,” said Andrei Krupin, director of the educational center where the sculpture was installed.

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Crimea noted that the sculpture caused controversy due to the poor quality of execution. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture said that it has nothing to do with the Livadia Palace.

© Paul Gilbert. 10 December 2021