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Monument to John Paul II Unveiled in Moscow
18.10.2011 11:11
Monument to John Paul II Unveiled in Moscow

On October 14, a monument to late Pope John Paul II was unveiled in the couryard of the Library of Foreign Languages in Moscow.

      The unveiling ceremony was attended by Polish vice-speaker Marek Zchelkovsky, Polish Ambassador to Russia Wojciech Zajaczkowski, Ambassador of the Vatican to Russia Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich, a world-famous Polish composer Kshishtov Penderetsky and other Russian and Polish officials. In their statements, they all stressed a world-wide importance of John Paul II's personality, his role in the communist system's collapse and his interpretation of European culture as a unity of Christian cutures of the West and the East. He also was the first to initiate dialogue with the orthodoxy.

      The idea of building a monument was voiced by Grigory Amnuel, the head of the non-governmental organization International Dialogue, and then was supported by Russian social circles, Polish embassy and Polish welfare fund "Semper Polonia".

      The bronze monument, sculpted by Ukrainian artist Oleksandr Vasyakin and Russians Ilya and Nikita Fyoklin, portrays the Pontiff sitting. It will share the quiet space with the likenesses of Charles Dickens, Heinrich Heine, Raoul Wallenberg and several other predominantly European figures.

      John Paul II, a predecessor of Pope Benedict XVI, was born on May 18, 1920 and died on April 2, 2005, at the age of 84. He was the second-longest documented pontificate, who headed the Catholic Church for 26 years. He also was the first pontificate of Slavic descent. In May 2011 the Vatican beatified him, which is the third of four steps in the canonization process.


      

Sources: Newsru RIA Novosti Image: Novaya Gazeta


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Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Moscow monuments Russian sculptors monument Russia-Poland John Paul II 

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