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BELGRADE, November 16. /TASS/. A monument to Russian Emperor Nicholas II, who is particularly revered in Serbia, was unveiled in central Belgrade on Sunday.
The eight-metre-tall monument was consecrated by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, who is currently on a visit to Serbia, and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The ceremony was also attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Mdinsky.
The monument to Nicholas II “is another major monument Serbia has built as its gratitude to the glory of Russian comrades-in-arms in the two World Wars,” President Tomislav Nikolic said. “Russian-Serbian brotherhood has been existing regardless of the time or place, regardless of the social system, regardless of who is at power at each particular moment.” The name of Russian Czar Nicholas II is inscribed in Serbia’s history in golden letters, he said.
“Patriarch Kirill once told me that many sought to eliminate for good the memory of the martyr Czar family. I say it confidently, this will never take place in Serbia,” he stressed. “The monument to the martyr Czar Nicholas II in the very heart of Belgrade is a symbol of eternal victory of good and justice, the sacrifice made by a man and a ruler in the name of values that are higher than a man, an emperor, higher than life.”
Speaking about the last Russian emperor, Patriarch Kirill noted that for long years his name had been tabooed.
“Only bad things used to be said about him or nothing at all,” he said. “But, like new grass sprouting from under asphalt, the truth is now coming up and there is no hiding it. He sacrificed his crown, his reign and his life to save Serbia and to save Europe.”
The bronze monument to Nicholas II was designed by Russian sculptors Andrei Kivalchuk and Gennady Pravotorov. It was built at the initiative of Natalia Narochnitskaya, the president of the Historical Perspective Foundation, under the patronage of the Russian Military History Society headed by Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky.