The height of the bronze figure is 2.7 meters. It was on Gvardeyskaya Square on June 26, 1966 that a one-and-a-half-ton block of gabbro-diabase was installed with a commemorative plaque, which said that in the future an obelisk would appear here, reminiscent of the heroic deeds of the Norilsk people who created the city and the combine.
The opening ceremony was attended by the leaders of the city and the Nornickel Polar Division, veterans of the Norilsk combine. Due to the pandemic and related restriction measures, the ceremony was held without much scope. Nevertheless, about a hundred people gathered in the square. The right to cut the red ribbon went to the head of Norilsk, Rinat Ahmetchin, and the director of the Polar Division, Nikolay Utkin.
“It is gratifying that today, during the celebration of the company’s anniversary, we are attending the birthday of another masterpiece that personifies the strength and might of the Norilsk metallurgists. 54 years ago, our predecessors installed the stone block at this very place so that we, the new generation of Norilsk residents, would pay tribute to all those who once erected the beautiful city and industrial complex in the tundra”, Nikolay Utkin said.
Rinat Ahmetchin thanked the townspeople who initiated the installation of the monument, the deputies of the city council who supported the idea, as well as Nornickel, which financed the construction.
“Today, on the City Day and Metallurgist Day, we are opening the monument dedicated to the main and most respected profession of our city – metallurgists. I believe that this will not be just a decoration of the city, it will be our tribute to all those who took part in the creation of the largest metallurgical enterprise in Russia”, added the city head.
According to the author of the work, Moscow architect Andrey Shipunov, before creating the monument, he had to visit the enterprises where he could not only get acquainted with the prototypes of the future sculpture, but also learn more about the profession of a metallurgist.
“Norilsk is a special city. People with a strong character live here, who, moreover, it seemed to me, are more open and more inclusive than, for example, in the central part of the country. I talked with the metallurgists, and after that my colleagues and I had ideas and images that we implemented. It was important to show the connection between the past and the present. And through the present – into the future. As a result, a sculpture of those who once bequeathed to erect a monument on this place appeared”, Andrey Shipunov shared.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko