''It would be logical to discuss the monument to Ivan the Terrible in Tatarstan''
A monument to the tsar-conqueror can appear in the capital of Tatarstan, but all social activists are against
It seems that Kazan is on the threshold of new scandals with monuments to Russian sole rulers. Discussions near a monument to Ekaterina II in the city were running high first. Now a monument to a more contradictory person – Ivan the Terrible – can appear in the capital. The information surfaced in the media first. Then the organising committee creating the monument – Russian Vityaz fund – told Realnoe Vremya it seriously considered our city as a candidate to have the sculpture. We should note that, initially, it was supposed to appear in Aleksandrov in Vladimir Oblast. But the locals threw the tsar from the rostrum two days before the opening. Now the fund is talking to authorities of other cities.
''Many cities ask me this monument''
Sculptor Vasily Selivanov was entrusted to make the idea of a monument to Ivan the Terrible real. He already made monuments to Minin in Bogorodsk, Leo Tolstoy in Pushkino, Prince Svyatoslav in Serpukhovo and others.
However, unlike the first bronze sculptures, the fate of the latter was less successful. The tsar's sculpture appeared in Aleksandrov in Vladimir Oblast, very Aleksandrov Settlement, which is a centre of oprichnina. But the sole ruler was thrown from the rostrum two days before the opening at the instruction of the city mayor. The Terrible returned to Moscow Oblast empty-handed. Now the organising committee making the monument is looking for options to locate it. Kazan also was among the candidates.
''Many cities down to Moscow ask me this monument. I consider the applications depending on conditions and its place,'' Vasily Selivanov told Realnoe Vremya but did not name the cities. He apologised and said he could not to tell it.
Selivanov specified that the choice of location is within the organising committee's competence, Russian Vityaz fund.
Monument to the Terrible in Kazan as symbol of multinational union
Dmitry Lysenkov, president of Russian Vityaz fund and initiator of creation of the monument, explained the Tatarstan capital was really considered as one of the possible places to put the Terrible. According to him, in his previous interviews, the sculptor really named journalists that Kazan was one of the possible cities that could accept his creation. There has not been any negotiations with authorities of Tatarstan or the Kazan city administration. Though the organising committee would support them with pleasure.
''Of course, it would be logical to discuss the monument to Ivan the Terrible in Tatarstan, probably after Moscow, first of all. The history is continuous like a ribbon, it doesn't have breaks. This is why this monument would be symbolic for multinational unity in Kazan because Ivan the Terrible made Volga peoples full-fledged participants of big Russia,'' Russian Vityaz fund President Dmitry Lysenkov is convinced.
For this reason, the organising committee admits not all the people will like this initiative in Kazan and Tatarstan. It happened once while discussing the monument to Ekaterina II.
''I am against the demolition of any monuments. I can have different attitudes to Dzerzhinsky. But it is one of the symbols of the era. I can be either for or against, but it must stand. And when we are talking about the first Russian tsar who united Rus… Of course, people can complain about it. But it is not the point. It is a great era, we are talking about its transformation in historical realias we are living in now. Such opinions always surprised me. Nikolay Svanidze claimed it is ''not a monument to the Terrible but a monument to Stalin''. Sorry, what for? You are talking through the hat! It is a monument to an era, a person that can't be deleted from the Russian history!'' the president of Russian Vityaz noted.
According to him, the fund is talking to another five cities of different federal obedience, including Moscow. Lysenkov did not name them for ethical reasons but noted the issue can be resolved within the month.
''Did you decide to repeat?''
Famous opinion journalist and historian Lev Zharzhevsky shared his opinion about the possible appearance of the monument to the Terrible in Kazan.
''Like a great number of people, I am a citizen of Kazan because the tsar conquered Kazan in 1552. The history decided that the conquest of Tatar state establishments were performed precisely by this person. It is the historical injury of the Tatars when the statehood was lost. I would like to ask supporters of the monument very much why they decided to remind their own countrymen and neighbours about this injury. In general, there are few mysteries about monuments to the Terrible: they want to curry favour with the president knowing Vladimir Putin and his circle's historical tastes. By the way, in 1914, Kazan Black Hundreds managed to obtain permission to invite applications for the monument to Ivan the Terrible in Kazan. The Ministry of Internal Affairs permitted to collect money in order to open the monument in 1952, by the 400 th anniversary of Kazan's conquest. The supporters as well as all the Russians had other issues to think about. Did you decide to repeat?'' Lev Zharzhevsky addresses the initiators of creation of the monument.
Airat Faizrakhmanov, candidate of Historical Sciences, deputy chairman of the World Forum of the Tatar Youth, is an avid opponent of the campaign of the monument to Ekaterina II. He doesn't allow the very possibility to place the sculpture of the Terrible in Kazan.
''In my opinion, it is a provocation. Sensible civilians won't allow to make it in Kazan and Tatarstan. Somebody's attempts to make it, discussion of this topic will lead to interethnic contradictions. The official authorities of Tatarstan will never do it. This monument can appear in somebody's back yard, in a protected private area. But it is also a provocation of a conflict. In general, Tatarstan is not a place for sole rulers. There won't be protests – they just won't be allowed. I hope Moscow won't allow the appearance of the monument to Ivan the Terrible as well,'' Faizrakhmanov stressed.