And in 1972, they held another competition for the coat of arms best design. In total, about 200 works were submitted for it, and the competition commission chose a drawing by a young artist Victor Leshchuk.
On June 2, at the city council executive committee meeting, the sketch was approved with an official description:
“The Norilsk city’s coat of arms is a polar bear holding a key above its head, against the traditional shield background. The key pattern consists of the word “Norilsk” and the chemical symbols for copper, nickel and cobalt. The shield is vertically divided into golden and black halves, the upper edge is the colors of the RSFSR state flag. The bear figure rising to its full height personifies the power of high latitudes, the coloring of the shield – polar day and night, molten metal and subsoil. The figurative meaning of the coat of arms is that Norilsk is the key to the North, its secrets and riches, the Norilsk people are the discoverers”.
Chemical symbols were removed from the modern coat of arms as inconsistent with heraldic rules, and a stylized “N” remained from the word “Norilsk”. The shield colors were also replaced with blue and red, which, together with the white color of the bear itself, imply the Russian tricolor.
The new coat of arms was approved in 2000. By the way, the polar bear is a symbol not only of Norilsk, but also of Greenland, as well as the Norwegian city of Hammerfest and Russian Perm, Yuzhno-Sahalinsk and the Nizhnekolymsky region of Yakutia.
The polar bear was a symbol of power, valor and dedication shown in the development of the North natural resources. And the city needed strength: in 1972, the Talnah mines construction continued, and a new gas condensate field, the Yuzhno-Soleninskoye, was put into pilot operation. The Talnah enrichment plant construction began. And that year, the first high school students labor teams appeared.
In the History Spot photo project previous publication, we told about 1967 in the history of the city and the Norilsk Nickel combine: 55 years ago, the heroic blocking of the Hantayka channel and the design of the first gas pipeline in the Arctic began.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive