Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Pamyatnik Petru I Statue, Moscow, Russia
This statue and its story actually seems like a reflection on Russian culture, which I could be completely wrong about. The statue is said to have been made as a tribute to Christopher Columbus on the discovery of the New World, but whoever it was made for decided against it, and there is was, a huge expensive statue that for the most part, really had not plae in Russia. So what to do with it?
They retooled Christopher's face and instead put the face of Peter the Great on it. Voila, now it is a Russian statue. One has to overlook the fact that Peter was tsar during the Age of Enlightenment and that Columbus was sailing the ocean blue almost two hundred years before Peter was born. so the ship that Peter is standing on bears no resemblance to the time in which he lived.
Peter did have a passion for shipbuilding though. He came to Holland in the late 17th century disguised as a common sailor. He spent four months in Dutch shipyards learning to build ships from start to finish. His goal was to be able to found the Russian Navy when he got back home. He needed more training and technical skills to pull that feat off, not to mention a fair amount of capital, but I think that it is a story that captures some of the essence of what he was trying to do in Russia, to bring them from the feudal ages into what in Europe was the modern times.