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Members of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences asked to decide the fate of the monument to Sakharov

Scientists called the square near the Physics Institute the most acceptable option

The story of the protracted choice of a site in the center of Moscow for the installation of a monument to academician, Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov may move forward. At the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, academicians discussed a very controversial issue and wrote a letter to the Moscow City Hall, in which they expressed their vision of the problem.

Recall that they have been looking for a place for the monument to Sakharov for several years. It was supposed to be installed by the 100th anniversary of the scientist. However, his birthday – May 21, 2021 – has already passed, and the scientist immortalized in bronze in the center of Moscow is still missing.

Some advocate installing it on Sakharov Avenue, which would be logical, while others argue that the monument there will serve as an additional incentive for the revolutionary mood of the public, and this is undesirable. The academician was a freedom-loving one, he went against the line of the party.

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Andrei Sakharov is a Soviet theoretical physicist, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences, one of the creators of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb. In the 1950s, Sakharov became involved in social activities: he advocated limiting, up to a complete cessation, nuclear weapons testing. Since 1967 he was one of the leaders of the human rights movement in the USSR. He was under the supervision of the KGB, subjected to searches, attacks in the press. The academician also actively advocated the abolition of the death penalty in the Soviet Union, spoke out against the introduction of Soviet troops into Afghanistan. In 1975, Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Here, it is important from which side to consider the personality of Andrei Dmitrievich,” Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, shares his thoughts. – The majority of the members of the presidium are inclined to erect a monument to Sakharov near the Physical Institute. Lebedev, with whom the scientist had many years of hard work, where he went through the formation as a major physicist. To the left of the entrance to the FIAN is a bust of Sergei Vavilov, while the right side is free, and Andrei Sakharov could have stood up well there. On the other hand, we are not against the installation of a monument on Sakharov Avenue. Where else should a monument to a scientist stand, if not there? Moreover, this place was approved in 2020 at a meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights by President Vladimir Putin. But not so long ago, the city hall offered us a third place: to erect a monument to the famous theoretical physicist near the building of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on Leninsky Prospekt, 32. More precisely, between the building of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the observation deck of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Neskuchny Garden park. But if the first two points are somehow connected with Academician Sakharov, then Andrei Dmitrievich has nothing to do with Leninsky, 32. In addition, the place is located away, so to speak, from folk trails, from tourist routes … For a public figure, like Andrei Sakharov, one would have to choose a more visited place.

As a result, the presidium prepared a letter (its copy is at the disposal of the editors). Actually, in it the participants of the meeting state their position, which Alexander Sergeev told us about. However, scientists also do not intend to refuse from the site provided by the mayor’s office in front of the building of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “The Russian Academy of Sciences appeals to you (Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow Alexei Yemelyanov. — Auth.) with a request to consider the issue of allocating this site for the placement of a memorial complex associated with perpetuating the memory of great scientists.

Alexander Mikhailovich explained that such a memorial, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences (it will be celebrated in 2024), would be very appropriate and significant.

But back to Sakharov. Despite the fact that the anniversary of the scientist is over, there is no understanding of how the monument should look like. Sculptors, not knowing a certain place, cannot work on projects.

Although, to be precise, grateful descendants nevertheless erected a monument to Academician Andrei Sakharov in Moscow in 2021. Small and not at all in the center: a statue depicting a 32-year-old scientist appeared on the alley of Nobel laureates of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI. True, there is no wide access to the monument: you can get to the alley only by passing the entrance of the institute.

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Source From: MK

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