Statue of Catherine the Great

This statue of Catherine the Great initiated from Alexander II who wanted to honor the memory of the great Empress. Architects David Grimm and Victore Chrioter as well as sculptors Mikhail Mikeshin, Matvey Chuzhov and Alexander Opekusin all worked together so as to design and make it. Its sculpting started in 1862 but it was only erected on Ostrovsky Square in 1873. It depicts Catherine the Great wearing an ermine coat, a laurel wreath in her left hand and a specter in the other hand. Around her neck one can see the order of St Andrew, the highest distinction in Russia. The monument is completed by nine other statues. They depict people who were part of the sphere of influence of the Empress. It includes Prince Griogory Potemkin and field Marshall Alexander Suvorov. The only woman represented (other than the Empress) is princess Catherine Dashkov, founder the Russian Academy of Science. After the 1917 Revolution, ironically, the statue of Catherine the Great was replaced by one of Lenin. Members of the Politburo unseated the close friends of the Empress. At the end of the Soviet regime the monument was restored to its initial form.
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