We crossed the Moskva river, not for the first time that day, with Gorki Park on our right hand. But even though the Russian version of the Space Shuttle looked cool, we turned left, walked past Tretyakov gallery to Sculpture Park. I had seen a few before in other places in former communist countries, and had expected something similar: lots of Lenins, Stalins, and Karl Marx, collectively looking down at the curious visitor. All the more so, because the former name of the park was Park of the Fallen Heroes. But this sculpture park proved to be different. Yes, there were the former Soviet leaders, the world-famous figures who inspired them - apart from the names mentioned before, Brezhnev was there, too. There also is a Stalin surrounded by heads, representing the millions who died under his leadership. But this turned out to be only a small section of the park.
No matter how important and good it is to be able to see those statues with which the country used to be flooded, what I particularly liked in this park is that those predictable statues were accompanied by modern-day artsy statues. There was a statue of a dog, seemingly patiently waiting for his boss. A girl upside-down, with her feet up in the air. Picasso-like women sculpted out in stone. Female figures rising out of the path through the Sculpture Park, without heads or feet, but with the feminine distinctive biological features. A lane of busts of serious-looking men. Some modern art seemed to mock modern art, other art was just fantastic.
Officially called the Muzeon Park of Arts, the Sculpture Park was established soon after the fall of communism, in 1992. Over the years, more statues and other works of art were added. Nowadays, the park has become a lively place, where kids can play right next to a statue of Stalin, or on a stone boat full of stone rabbits on a small pond. The Sculpture Park also has trees and flowers, and benches to just sit down and enjoy - giving it a real park atmosphere. Its open character ensures that many kinds of people visit the place. While walking towards the exit near the Moskva river, we saw a big boat on the river - the monument for Peter the Great and, while not part of the Sculpture Park, dwarfing it by sheer dimensions.
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