Monument to Tsar Alexander II due next to Kremlin

The proposed monument to Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881) is to be erected on the square adjoining the Kremlin's Kutafya Tower. The public city planning council to the Moscow Mayor reached a definitive decision on the issue Friday.

Presenting the project, chief city architect Alexander Kuzmin noted that the original option involved erecting the monument within the Kremlin, where he recalled another monument to Alexander had stood at one point, before being destroyed by Bolsheviks. However, Kuzmin said, the Kremlin territory is a world architectural monument in its own right. Putting a statue there would change the face of the Kremlin, the reason why the planners eventually rejected the idea.

Sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov's 5-meter-tall statue of a Tsar standing upright is to be placed in the center of the square. Including the pedestal, the monument's height will be 10 m.

In remarks summing up the discussion, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov concurred with the architects' opinion. "The place proposed is one of the few in the center of Moscow that are still free and in terms of its significance it matches the Tsar-Liberator's deeds," he pointed out.

Alexander was dubbed 'Liberator' for ending the age-old serfdom, which amounted to slavery.

Ironically, he was assassinated by members of the People's Will, a militant faction opposing Russia's government of the day.

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