Lenin statues are to this day a common sight in many towns or cities in Russia. Almost 100 years after his death the man is still an important and respected figure, arguably unrivaled in the national zeitgeist. Despite the regularity of such statues, few have as much historical significance as the imposing Lenin statue outside of the Finland Station in St. Petersburg.
The Lenin statue stands on roughly the same spot as where Lenin gave one of his famous revolutionary speeches. The famed speech was made atop an armoured car to the gathering sailors, soldiers and workers. The scene has been reproduced in paintings and posters, retold again and again by Soviet propagandists and is commonly believed to mark the beginning of Lenin’s personal involvement in the revolutionary events of 1917 following his Csarist imposed period of exile.
Enduring and Endlessly Replicated
The Lenin statue was unveiled in 1926, two years after Lenin’s death, and was one of the first monuments of Lenin to appear anywhere in the world. It was reported at the time that over 60 designs were submitted for consideration to the Soviet authorities tasked with producing the Lenin statue. In the end they chose the now famous depiction of Lenin with his left arm bent and his hand touching his waistcoat together with his right arm raised and outstretched signifying his personal vision for the future of the Revolution. The monument was designed and built by the sculptor Sergey Evseev and was to become one of the more enduring and endlessly replicated depictions of Lenin.
The figure of Lenin and the turret of the armoured car are both made from bronze and measure an impressive 4.3 metres tall. The full height of the entire monument, which includes the black granite pedestal, comes in at 10.7 metres. The monument was originally closer to the station. But following an expansion of the local metro line the monument was moved to its current spot and additional water fountains were constructed to accompany Lenin.
Lenin Statues and IEDs
As with many socialist monuments the bronze statue isn’t without controversy. The statue was severely damaged in April 2009 when a small explosive device was detonated inside the statue, blowing a hole in Vlads private parts resulting in many a comical picture opportunity. Nobody was hurt in the attack and to date the authorities have been unable to give a motive or apprehend the culprits.