The reinforced concrete Lenin of semi-handicraft work for a very long time remained the personal attraction of power engineers: changing the pedestals, it stayed in its place until the 1990s. It was removed during the reconstruction of the CHP main building, but it is known that it is still intact.
The official monument to the leader was erected in Norilsk on January 21, 1954 on the main city square.
The reinforced concrete sculpture – a copy from the Sergey Merkurov’s work – was made in the Murmansk art workshops.
Over the past years, the Norilsk Lenin and its pedestal have been repeatedly restored: the concrete crumbled and cracked from winds and low temperatures.
In the mid-1970s, the city authorities turned to Krasnoyarsk and Moscow with a request to provide the polar city with a more durable sculpture – made of stone or metal, – but in vain.
There was also a city sculpture in the history of Norilsk, depicting Lenin, or rather, little Volodya Ulyanov (Lenin).
The figure stood in the courtyard on Gornaya street – between the Looch cinema and the Miners’ club. However, it did not seem to stand for long, because it was made of plaster and has survived only in rare photographs of the Old Town inhabitants.
One more monument to the revolutionary leader remained in the plans. In the early 1960s, a three-meter-high bronze monument was going to be installed on Komsomolskaya square in front of the combine’s Palace of Culture.
At the same time, they planned to rename Komsomolskaya square in honor of Lenin. They talked about that monument as a fait accompli, but the bronze leader remained on paper.
In the last issue of History spot we talked about the construction of a mosque in Norilsk – the only mosque beyond the Arctic Circle and the northernmost one on the planet.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: 2GIS and the Nornickel Polar Division archive