Help Bulgakov to return to the Patriarch's Ponds

June 10, 2017

Tourists who are visiting the Patriarch's Ponds in Moscow, will find a huge monument there, but are often surprised to see that it is a monument to the Russian fabulist Ivan Krylov, and not to Mikhail Bulgakov or The Master and Margarita. Does the city of Moscow not know that many people associate the Patriarch's Ponds with our beloved novel? They sure do. In 2002 and 2003, when your webmaster had just discovered The Master and Margarita, the area of the Patriarch Pond in Moscow was even in turmoil on this issue. On December 6, 2002, works had been started for the construction of a monument to Mikhail Bulgakov. Excavators were used to clean the Patriarch's Ponds and to build a large pumping plant that would function as a fountain in the form of a giant-sized primus stove, as part of the monument. Around this primus, characters of The Master and Margarita would be depicted. On December 8, 2002, however, there have been fierce protests against the monument. The dimensions of the primus, as well as the parking garage and the shopping center that were to be constructed together with it, were heavily criticized.

Telekanal Rossia - 20.01.2003

As a result of the efforts of, among others, Aleksandr Morozov, a self-proclaimed «Saviour of the House of Bulkagov» the atmosphere was so heated that sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov announced, on February 6, 2003, that he no longer wanted to cooperate with the monument.

Telekanal Rossia - 06.02.2003

New developments

In november 2015, with the 125th anniversary of Bulgakov coming up, the Department of Monuments of the city had given its approval to an initiative of the Bulgakov House to use some of Rukavishnikov’s sculptures to highlight a tourist walk from Patriarch's Ponds to the Bulgakov House on Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa no. 10.

The notorious primus stove would not be part of it, but Bulgakov himself would be sitting on a bench at the pond, near the road sign with the words «Never talk to strangers», which was placed there by «unknown people» on June 20, 2012. The news was announced by Nikolay Golubev, the director of the Bulgakov House, to the newspaper Izvestia. According to Golubev, this spot is exactly the place where the conversation between Mikhail Berlioz, Ivan Bezdomny and Woland has been situated by Bulgakov in The Master and Margarita.

Rukavishnikov himself was not so keen on the fact that his monument would be divided into pieces, but he was glad that his sculptures, which have been lying in storage for more than 15 years, would finally see the light of day. «I designed an interesting, unusual architectural monument, of which nothing is really left. But I suppose this is better than nothing,» he said.

Bulgakov Square

Bulgakov on his bench at the Partiarch's Ponds

Call for support

Now, a year and a half after the Department of Monuments has announced its intentions, nothing has changed. That's why the journalist, architect and blogger Ilya Varlamov, who is very committed to city projects in Moscow, committed himself to re-launch the case. On his blog Make Russia Warm Again, he is asking for help to to wake the authorities out of their sleep.

How can you help?

First of all, you can help to distribute the information by sharing this page on Facebook or Twitter using the Share this page function which you find right under this article.

Furthermore, if you happen to be in Moscow, you can sign the petition at the Bulgakov House on Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa no. 10.

You could also send an email to the city of Moscow using the feedback feature at the top of the city's website.

Finally, you can like the various channels of Ilya Varlamov and share his messages. He can be found on Livejournal, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Just do it!


#БулгакованаПатриаршие #МестодляБулгакова #bulgakov #masterandmargarita
#МастериМаргарита #патриаршие


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