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BELGRADE, June 6 /TASS/. A monument to 19th-century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was unveiled in Zagreb, Croatia, on the day of Pushkin’s birth on Monday.
The bronze bust of the Russian poet, who was born on June 6, 1799, will stand at the entrance to Park Bundek on the bank of a lake, a favorite recreation area in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
The idea to unveil the monument, consisting of a bronze bust standing on a two-meter-high pedestal, belongs to the International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers. The federation’s deputy chairman, Dmitry Balalykin, told TASS that the bust had been created by sculptor Stanislav Nechvolodov from the Estonian city of Tartu. He added that the bust in Zagreb was not the first monument to Pushkin unveiled on the initiative of the International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers.
Earlier, similar monuments appeared in Greece, Hungary, Macedonia and Panama. The money for the creation and installation had come from the federation itself, sponsors and private donators. "For the moment, we are holding negotiations with Poland," Balalykin said complaining about certain difficulties. He added that the Zagreb authorities had welcomed the idea with great understanding.
"The authorities in Zagreb and a parliamentary commission met the idea halfway. We saw a very kind attitude from the deputies of the city assembly," Balalykin said. A source at the Russian embassy in Croatia told TASS that more than 200 people had attended the unveiling ceremony. They included Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic; Croatia’s Former President Stepan Mesic; Russian Ambassador to Croatia Anvar Azimov; represeptatives of the embassies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in Zagreb; deputies of the Zabreb city assembly, Croatian deputies; and members of the Coordination Council of Russian compatriots residing in Croatia. The Russian ambassador said that the Pushkin monument was a symbol of good relations between Croatia and Russia. He thanked the mayor of Zagreb and the International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers for opening Pushkin to Zagreb.
The Zagreb authorities are planning to create an alley of great world writers and poets in Park Bundek, and Pushkin’s bust is the first step in the realization of this concept. The Russian embassy in Zagreb told TASS that monuments to 20th century Russian poet Sergei Yesenin and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man in space, would appear in Zagreb this year.
The International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers created in 2006 unites writers, journalists, publishers, scriptwriters; playwrights and literature translators. The federation’s aim is to increase the social significance of Russian-language literature as an inseparable part of world culture.