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19.04.06 New sculptures in Minsk

Bronze Inhabitants of Mikhaylovsky Public Garden

Mikhaylovsky Public Garden (Michael Public Garden) and all neighboring streets were almost completely destroyed during World War II. After WW II the public garden was restored which fact is now witnessed by cast fence remaining from that period. It situated not far from Central Railway Station, close to Nezalezhnasci Square.

Few years ago the public garden underwent restoration and gained quite decent appearance. Extremely interesting are three sculptures    that have adorned the garden recently. Just imagine the situation: you slowly walk through the garden lane illuminated by trembling lights of lamps and suddenly notice an elegant silhouette of a woman - small hat, beautifully draped weightless dress, coquettish leg gracefully set aside, in short, you see a charming lady leaning back on the park bench. You get closer, even more closer, and all of sudden discover that the lady... presents a fine work casting.

The author of the sculpture installed in the public garden in May 1998 is Vladimir Zhbanov. Approximately a year later one more sculpture of the same artist was installed on the edge of the garden. Near the trolley bus stop now stands a young guy made from bronze. As you can easily see from the pose and gestures he is asking a passer-by for a light. Unlike in the case of the charming lady-stranger whose prototype is quite general and abstract, the prototype of the sculpture as well as the inspirer of the piece was a real person Golynsky by name. Golynsky was a friend of the sculptor and was quite known both among artists and business people. It happened so that the sculp­ture was presented to public on the 40th day after Mr. Golyn­sky tragic death...  

Mikhaylovsky Public Garden has recently gained new sculpture Girl with Umbrella. Former inhab­itants of the park Lady Sitting on the Bench and Guy Asking for a Light have been Joined with fragile girl-teenager holding an umbrella.

The author of the sculptures Vladimir Zhbanov recollects that the idea of the piece appeared long ago. That time alone silhouette was associated in the sculptor's imagination with a girl waiting for a bus on terminal stop. However the trage­dy in Nyamiga metro station that stroked the city in May 1999 when about 50 young people died, mostly girls teenagers, brought new anxious note of kid's vulnerability into emotions of the sculptor.

   The umbrella that the girl is holding is obviously destined for sheltering her from rain yet actually appears to be just an illu­sion. It seems that the girl invites people to hide under the umbrella she raises slightly. Clearly, symbolical umbrella provides no protection. The kid's stature reminds peo­ple of how helpless and unprotected, in es­sence, are their most valuable treasure - their children. 

Still, the majority of spectators visiting the garden do not notice that disturbing note at all. Some of them think the girl is just waiting for a friend of hers the others con­sider her as just nice and elegant statue of­fering excellent opportunity to take a pic­ture for memory.


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