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ANSWER TO THE PUZZLE “MONUMENT OF ALEXANDER III”
The beginning of the 1960s. The monument to Alexander III stands safely in the courtyard between the Rossi wing and the Benoit building. The repair of the Mikhailovsky Garden has just been completed, and it was decided again to rearrange the monument in the garden.
In 1964, the architect Kirill Dmitrievich Khalturin developed a project for the transfer of the monument to the Mikhailovsky Garden. According to the plan, the monument was to be taken out of the yard through the gate to Engineering Street. Further, to the embankment of the Griboedov Canal, and then along the apartment building, the monument was moved to the garden to the installation site.
The idea to establish a sculpture in the Mikhailovsky Garden was first proposed in 1939, when a plan for the reconstruction of the garden was developed. According to this plan, the monument to Alexander III was to be installed on the site in front of the garden facade of the Rossi wing of the Mikhailovsky Palace. It was supposed to place the monument on a low pedestal, facing the garden porch of the outbuilding. The monument was accompanied by a sign “Scarecrow” with the poem of the same name by Demyan Poor. On the project plan for the reconstruction of the Mikhailovsky Garden in 1939, the installation site of the sculpture is indicated by a red dot.
According to the plan developed by K.D. Khalturin, the monument to Alexander III was located southwest of the place indicated on the 1939 plan. The monument was planned to be placed along the central axis of the transition connecting the Rossi outbuilding and the Benoit building. The face sculpture was installed at the end of the Mikhailovsky Palace. The explanatory plate should contain information about the author of the sculpture and the date of its installation on Znamenskaya Square. On the project plan for transferring the monument to the garden of 1964, the installation sites are indicated: the red dot indicates the installation location according to the 1939 version, and the blue dot indicates the updated version.
The project of relocating the monument to Alexander III in the Mikhailovsky Garden was not implemented. So the sculpture stood in the courtyard of the museum until 1994. The monument was admired from the windows of the transition between the buildings of the Russian Museum. Also, the sculpture was clearly visible from the upper floors of the Maly Opera House (former Mikhailovsky Theater).
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