Mikhail Lomonosov never visited Ekaterinoslav. Moreover, he died 10 years before the foundation of this city. However, his monument still stands almost in the center of the Dnipro city and is a cult place for local students – at least those who study at the modern Dnipro Polytechnic. This is the former Mining University.
How the monument to Lomonosov appeared in Dnipropetrovsk
Mikhail Lomonosov can be called a universal man and a long list of the sciences that he studied, and he can be called an expert in them.
For example, in Dnepropetrovsk his monument was erected due to the scientist’s contribution to the development of mining.
It was the early 1970s. The staff of the Mining Institute petitioned for the installation of a Lomonosov monument in front of their alma mater. The grand opening took place on June 25, 1971.
Before that, in place of the monument to Lomonosov, in the square between the Historical Museum and the Mining Institute was a monument to Catherine II. Catherine appeared in what was then Ekaterinoslav in 1914 after a long struggle – that is a separate story, which I will tell in another story.
In short – in 1917 Catherine was damaged during the turmoil of the revolution that took place in the Russian Empire, and in 1919 it was removed permanently. The monument of the ruler was saved by a scientist Dmitry Yavornitsky. He took it to his museum-estate and hid it in the vault. Finally Catherine disappeared during the German occupation of Dnepropetrovsk. The Germans took out the monument and probably melted it down.
The total height of the composition is 11 meters. It was developed by the sculptor – A.V. Sytnik, architects G.I. Panafutin, V.S. Polozhyi. They are iconic people in architecture.
Lomonosov holds a suvoy in his hand, on the pedestal are written quotations of the scientist.
Lomonosov Monument in Modern Time
The square on which the monument stands was reconstructed in the mid-2010s. Now there is a good pavement, benches, lawns, and a bicycle path next to the monument. Next to it the subway station is being built and the highest flagpole with the biggest flag in Dnipro city has been installed.
In connection with the Russian aggression into Ukraine and the full-scale invasion of 2022 – a petition to dismantle the monument appeared on the website of the city authorities. But so far no decision has been made and it is not clear whether it will be made at all.
What students are doing to the Lomonosov monument in Dnipro
Since Dnieper Polytechnic is located next to the monument, there are many students here during the school year – especially during the session. Often students make a joke and a bottle of some kind of alcohol appears in Lomonosov’s hand. To put the bottle you have to climb to a height, which is not easy. But nothing is impossible for students.
Guests from Kharkov say that their city also has a similar monument. According to them, the Dnieper monument is more beautiful and they also like to joke with Mikhail Vasilievich in a similar way.
How to get there
The monument is located at 19, Dmytro Yavornytsky Ave. You can get here by any bus from any end of the city that goes to the Center. Then go up on your own or take streetcar number 1 and get out at the stop “Historical Museum”. The buses 118, 122, 127, 157A and trolleybuses 1, 4, 9, 10, 16, 21, A pass by. The stop is Gonchar St. “Historical Museum”.
Access to the square is free. You can walk around – there is a historical museum, a monument to the Tank, the ATO Museum, the exhibition “Battle for the Dnipro”.
Demolition of the Lomonosov Monument in Dnipro
On December 6, 2022, the city authorities decided to dismantle monuments related to Russian culture. This decision concerns not only the monument to Lomonosov, but also Pushkin and Gorky.
These monuments will be stored in a specially designated area.
And now, a month after the city council’s decision – on January 6, 2023, the monument to Lomonosov in Dnіpro has been demolished. Because of the design, it was lifted with a crane along with part of the pedestal.
This may not be the end of more than 50 years of this monument.