Mini-City Unveiled Near Gorkovskaya

Mini-City Unveiled Near Gorkovskaya

Published: June 17, 2011 (Issue # 1661)

Miniature models of the Admiralty and St. Isaac’s are part of the display.

A model of St. Petersburg was unveiled in the city’s Alexandrovsky Park near Gorkovskaya metro station Wednesday.

The miniature St. Petersburg features scale models of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Winter Palace, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Church on the Spilled Blood and other city landmarks.

The idea for the mini-city came from Alexei Miller, head of the state gas and oil giant Gazprom and a native of St. Petersburg. Miller had the idea when he visited Amsterdam and saw the sculpture “Night Watch” based on Rembrandt’s painting, made by Russian sculptor Alexander Taratynov, Fontanka reported.

Miller said he discussed the idea with Taratynov but decided to make a sculpture based on the city’s historic sights rather than on artwork.

Mini-St. Petersburg is funded by Gazprom.

A mini Peter and Paul Fortress.

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said at the opening ceremony that a monument to Miller should be erected in the same park. Miller did not comment on the suggestion, but appeared slightly embarrassed, Fontanka reported.

The city administration actively supported Miller’s idea.

“Previously, the area boasted tennis courts and later a theme park,” said Andrei Podobed, head of the city’s Committee for the Provision of Public Amenities at a press conference dedicated to the project.

“The park had suffered damage; its lawns and trees were in bad condition,” he added. The restoration work in the park coincided with Gazprom’s initiative for constructing a mini-city,” Fontanka reported.

Some of the city’s architects have criticized the project, claiming the sculptures are not in a “high art” style. Some local architects have labeled it “fast art” — the artistic equivalent of “fast food,” Fontanka reported. Architects also expressed disappointment with the chosen location.

Taratynov said other locations were suggested, but that he selected the Alexandrovsky Park due to its location in the center of the city.

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