The iconic monument on Volgograd’s Mamayev Kurgan Hill is in need of some serious care.
Valentina Klyushina, curator of The Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad memorial complex, of which the statue is a part, said that The Motherland Calls statue needs serious help. According to Klyushina, Nikolai Nikitin, the lead designer of the monument, left a memorandum to this effect in the early 1970s. As early as 50 years ago, the engineers knew that statue would continually tilt. They calculated that statue could sustain a maximum tilt of 260 millimeters (10 inches). In 2008, a commission established that The Motherland Calls was leaning in the direction of the Volga by 222 millimeters (about 9 inches).
“The state commission claims that there is nothing to worry about, but I’m certain that over the past six years, the statue has already surpassed the critical 40 millimeters and could start to fall at any moment,” Klyushina believes. “What’s more, Nikolai Nikitin wrote a memorandum explaining how to save The Motherland Calls. Raise the monument with a jack to the level of the highest ground beneath it. Create steel supports of different heights. Lower the monument onto the supports, eliminating its tilt. That’s it! I even found a manufacturer that could help with the reinforcements. I appealed to the directors of the memorial complex, but they think that everything is fine. But if the 85-meter sculpture collapses, Volgograd will have disgraced itself in front of the whole world!”
Employees of the Volgograd branch of the Scientific Research Institute of Energy Structures (NIIES), who carry out the technical maintenance of the monument, disagree with Valentina Klyushina. They do not believe that there is reason for concern, and claim that they conduct constant monitoring of the statue, Metro reports.
The above text originally appeared on Strana.ru – a site devoted to travel in Russia. To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English by SRAS Translate Abroad intern Sophia Rehm.