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UNESCO Against Prince Vladimir on Borovitskaya Square

Sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov's Saint Vladimir - Courtesy Evge-Chesnokov
Sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov's Saint Vladimir - Courtesy Evge-Chesnokov

According to a RIA Novosti report, the UN cultural and scientific body has not approved the location of the controversial Vladimir the Great statue on Borovitskaya Ploshchad. Despite previous reports UNESCO had approved the location of the 24 meter monument by Artist of Russia, sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov

Having notified UNESCO of the suggested location of the statue, the Russian authorities were stunned to learn that the statue does not adhere to the requirements of the Convention on the Protection of World Heritage, at least according to the advisory body to UNESCO. The International Council on Monuments and Sites said; “the installation of the monument could have a negative impact on the outstanding universal value of the object”, and further suggested moving the proposed location. 

Set to be dedicated at the upcoming 1000th anniversary ceremonies dedicated to the saint this year, the statue has been at the center of a conflict in between Moscow City Duma officials for some time. According to Grigory Ordzhonikidze, Executive Secretary Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, and Deputy of the Communist party faction in the Moscow city Duma, Elena Shuvalova, the location decision did not take into account the requirements of the UNESCO Convention 1972 "concerning the protection of world cultural and natural heritage."

It should be noted that the chosen location came about via a poll of the citizens of Moscow, with the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was approved by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) as well.