The monument was created by Vladimir Brodarsky, a graduate of the Ilya Repin St Petersburg Academy of Arts after a design by sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy (1866 – 1938). The project was implemented by the Russian Military Historical Society and the Russian Historical Society.
Speech at the unveiling of a monument to Alexander III
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Greetings, friends.
It is a pleasure to welcome all participants and guests to the ceremony of unveiling a monument to Emperor Alexander III, a statesman whose name has entered Russia’s history forever and is connected with important and meaningful achievements. Many of them continue to serve our Fatherland to this day, suffice it to name the grandiose and daring plan to build the Trans-Siberian Railway.
I would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of the monument, as well as, of course, the workers, engineers, artists and art experts who are proceeding with the large-scale restoration of the unique Gatchina Museum-Reserve. It served as Emperor Alexander III’s residence in the 19th century.
He loved Russia. It was his life, and he strived to do everything for its steady and confident progress, for the protection of its interests and for strengthening the Russian state in Europe and globally.
His contemporaries had mixed feelings about him and his work. This is how it always has been and always will be because it is very hard, if not impossible at times, to assess the scale of such work in real time. But we can say with confidence today that Alexander III’s era offers us an example of a natural and harmonious blending of large-scale technological, industrial and government transformations and loyalty to national traditions, culture and origins.
I want to stress that even today, in the turbulent and dynamic 21st century, when changes affect all spheres of life, it is crucial for us to preserve Russia’s historical, cultural and spiritual heritage and the values that unite our people. This is why we will launch new educational projects and place special emphasis on teaching patriotic values to young people. Such initiatives, including from the Russian Historical and Military Historical societies, the revived Znanie society and other organisations, movements, artistic unions and research institutes, are sure to get support.
May the monument we are unveiling become yet another symbol of the restored continuity of time and generations. Because we can move forward, confidently develop and reach new heights only if we draw on respect for our past, for our outstanding forefathers who faithfully served our people and Russia.