1. In June 2013, at the intersection of Bogdan Hmelnitsky and Sovetskaya streets, at the corner of the former maternity hospital, the city authorities opened a small park. The Birds of Happiness, or Storks, sculptural composition is located there. The Mobius strip, symbolizing the infinity of human life path is in the center of the composition. At the bottom of the sculpture, the ribbon forms a nest-like ring with three chicks. If you look at the composition from aside, the ribbon folds into two wedding rings – a symbol of the unity of souls in the family. Such sculptural embodiment is a synthesis of ideas of the Norilsk Architecture Department and the City Planning Council, as well as the author’s developments.
It is interesting that for the author of the composition, a Moscow sculptor and member of the Union of Artists Andrey Orlov, the inclusion of three stork chicks in the ensemble was symbolic: the sculptor’s three sisters were exiled to Norillag, their further fate remained unknown.
After the maternity hospital moved to the perinatal center of the city hospital No.1 in Oganer, the location of the sculpture lost its meaning. It is planned to move it to a new place – to the park, which will be designed in front of the hospital.
2. They say that a few years ago, wild deer came to Norilsk from the tundra in hungry winters. The people fed them, the deer walked in the neighborhood, and when spring came, they left for the tundra. Therefore, it would be strange if a deer sculpture had not been installed in the city. It was done in 2006. The deer was placed on the Leninsky prospekt, the main city street.
The deer suffered several times at the hands of vandals. In 2006, there were reports that people who broke their horns paid only 500 rubles for vandalism.
“The sculpture of a deer was installed on Leninsky prospekt in early June. The deer remained untouched for only ten days. Then two Norilsk residents broke one horn and loosened the other. After another two weeks, black spots appeared on the sculpture. After the restoration, the deer did not stand even a week when it lost one horn again. Now the Norilsk hunters have offered their help in restoring the sculpture. They will provide the architects with natural deer antlers, and they will figure out how to place these antlers on the sculpture’s head. It should be noted that the deer sculpture is not protected by anyone and is not included in the city’s balance sheet”, the city media wrote in September 2006.
In recent years, the deer peacefully ‘graze’ on the lawn: vandalism has stopped. Norilsk people love to be photographed with this sculpture. And during the days of the pandemic, someone took care of the animal, putting a medical mask on its face.
3. In 2017, another horned one appeared in the city – on July 14, a sculpture of a deer was installed, symbolizing the coat of arms of Talnah. The author of the work is Albert Turkin. For many years he has been creating art objects from ordinary scrap metal. At the entrance to the ore capital of Russia (this is the status that Talnah was once given) residents of this Norilsk district and guests of the city are greeted by a life-size reindeer carrying a key to the underground treasures of the Talnah deposit on its horns.
It took the master a month and a half and 300 kilograms of junk to create the sculpture. He worked on it in his own garage in his free from the main work time.
4. The Walrus sculpture has been decorating the city pool since 2007. The sculpture weighing 600 kilograms was made in Kirov at the Vyatkostroydetal plant from fine-grained concrete based on Italian quartz sand. A life-size walrus was created within the framework of the Parallel World. Fauna of Taimyr next to civilization funded by a grant from the charitable Foundation for cultural initiatives. The authors of the sculpture are architects Alexander and Irina Sobolev.
Irina Soboleva said that the idea of a walrus sculpture came after the publication of an article about the Norilsk swimming pool in the newspaper. The architects wanted children and adults who come there tswim in any weather to be greeted by a good-natured creature – a symbol of sports and good health. The inauguration of the sculpture took place on June 23.
5. The Polar Bear Aika sculpture appeared in the city in 2008. It is made of fine-grained concrete and installed in the area of house No.1 on Ordzhonikidze street, where the famous Aika, a polar bear that was raised and later filmed by the director of the Norilsk television studio Yury Ledin, lived and walked. This is the third sculpture made in the framework of the Parallel World project, its author is Alexander Sobolev. Return of the Legend – this is how the Norilsk journalists wrote about the Aika’s sculptural embodiment.
“The two-month-old orphan was brought from the Nikolaev zoo in April 1974 by the famous Norilsk resident, the author of films about animals in the Arctic Yury Ledin. The white lump weighed three kilograms. We called her Aika, because the little girl shouted: “Ay! Ay! Ay! ” Then there were filming on the land of Franz Joseph and the world fame of the Polar Bear documentary. But the movie star Aika quickly grew up, and from Ledin’s three-room apartment at 17 Metallurgov square, she moved to the Berlin Zoo. And a year later the bear died”.
6. The bear theme did not stop there: on February 27, 2019, exactly to the International Polar Bear Day, another sculpture the Arctic owner was installed on the site near the Talnahskaya (local people call it Talnashka) river embankment.
This place has been equipped for several years. The banks of the Talnashka were fortified, children’s and sports areas were equipped, and the reindeer sculpture which we wrote about above was installed.
“There was a small area left – 200 squares, we decided to put some sculpture on it too. The stone under it – anhydrite – was installed last year. The white bear was ordered in Moscow, together with the delivery and installation, it cost 99 thousand rubles”, said Andrey Sokolov, deputy head of the Talnah territorial administration of the Norilsk administration.
The sculpture is made of polystone. It is hollow inside, to strengthen it, they drilled holes in the paws, poured concrete, inserted pins and fixed the structure on the stone. The bear weighs 38 kilograms, its height is 1.2 meters, length is 1.94, width is 0.65.
7. Another ‘northerner’ appeared in the city last year – a sculpture of a huge mosquito-driller in Talnah. Its creator, Albert Turkin, as already mentioned, is known to the townspeople as the author of expressive sculptures made from scrapped parts. For the Miner’s Day, the master surprised the townspeople with a new creation connected to the mining theme. And a sculpture of a mosquito-miner mining ore appeared near the Komsomolsky mine in Talnah on the eve of the holiday.
The mosquito-miner is simultaneously linked to the mining theme and geography of the unique Talnah copper-nickel deposit. More than half a century ago it gave impetus to the development of the Norilsk combine. In its depths there is as much non-ferrous metals, as mosquitoes in the tundra in summer.
“The Norilsk mosquito is ready, I assembled it from car parts, all kinds of waste – from everything I found outdoors. I worked for over a month, and here is the result. Now it will make Norilsk residents happy,” Albert Turkin summed up his work.
In the previous publication of the Facts and numbers series, we told about the Taimyr Red Book birds.
Text: Maria Sokolova, Photo: open sources