Peter the Great looks at the fresh arrivals to the alley of Russian rulers, a project sponsored by Russia’s Military History Society with all the statues created by the controversial Moscow sculptor of Georgian origin, Zurab Tsereteli.
The new bunch currently includes all the Soviet leaders from Vladimir Lenin to Mikhail Gorbachev. Joseph Stalin – sure as hell.
One spot has been reserved – no, not for Vladimir Putin – for Boris Yeltsin. His bust is still in the making.
The incumbent president is sure to have his pride of place when he dies. All the leaders represented in the collection are now defunct with the exception of Gorbachev, but the 86-year-old last Soviet leader has been added apparently because he represents a defunct country, the USSR.
The first Russian ruler, whose bust is displayed in the alley, is Ryurik, a Varangian chieftain who founded the dynasty that ruled Russia from the 10th to the 17th century.
Quite a few ladies as well have their bronze busts on display in the rulers’ collection, from Saint Olga to Catherine the Great.
The last Russian czar Nicholas II looks away from his predecessors but he probably can catch the view of his followers, including Prince Georgy Lvov, Russia’s first prime minister following Nicholas’s abdication in March 1917, and his successor as head of the provisional government, Alexander Kerensky, who surrendered power to the Bolsheviks.