Art@Site Zurab K. Tsereteli War Memorial Complex

Zurab K. Tsereteli


War Memorial Complex

Poklonnaya Gora
The synagogue on Poklonnaya gora, as well as a small exhibition on Holocaust and the monument with a quite veiled title 'Tragedies of the peoples' by Z.Tsereteli.
The monument was originally located in front of the central entrance to the museum, but was soon moved to the back yard, where it is not possible to have a look at it from various angles though the group of sculptures presupposes it. The artwork hints on the presence of the Jewish topic in the history of the war, but it does not go beyond the hints – the Shoah issue remains practically undeveloped and uncomprehended.
Zurab Tsereteli has made a big impact on the new image of Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The artist has been in charge of the recreation of the exterior and interior decoration of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (1994-1999), was a chief designer of such big complexes as a War Memorial on Poklonnaya Hill (1995), Manezh Square and"Okhotny Ryad" underground shopping mall (1997) located near the Kremlin walls. His monument to Peter 1, 94 m high, (1997) in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy, standing on an artificial island in the Moscow-river, is one of the landmarks of Moscow. In 2005 in Moscow was unveiled his monument to General Charles de Gaulle.
Zurab Konstantines dze Tsereteli is a Georgian-Russian painter, sculptor and architect known for large-scale and at times controversial monuments. Tsereteli has served as the President of the Russian Academy of Arts since 1997.
Although much of his career was dogged by controversy, Tsereteli came to befriend Moscow's mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who secured some important commissions for him, including the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Manege Square ensemble and the War Memorial Complex on Poklonnaya Gora. Luzhkov also allowed him to occupy an old mansion in downtown Moscow, which now houses the Zurab Tsereteli Gallery and where his life-size statue of Vladimir Putin is on display.
Tsereteli allegedly secured other important commissions with the help of Luzhkov. These included the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the building of the Manege Square Ensemble and the design of a War Memorial Complex at Poklonnaya Gora. The latter is a sculptural ensemble, depicting the victims of Nazis, situated at the centre of the memorial complex.