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The Legend of Perm Bear
January 5, 2015 14:36


“The Legend of Perm Bear” Monument (aka “Walking Bear” or “Bear-2”) is the number 37, the end point of the walk through “Green Line”, a walking tourist route. In other words, the first object of the route, the sculpture “Permyak - Salty Ears” on Komsomolsky Prospect, is situated in a three minutes walk from the end point - the Bear on Lenina Street. And the winding route of “Green Line” takes a couple of hours.

When the weary traveler gets to bear he is welcomed by the animal’s raised paw. The traveler shakes the bronze paw, strikes the shiny bronze nose, at the same time making a wish - this is a belief associated with the Perm monument. Being constantly rubbed, the chubby bear begins to look like a well-fed pig.

The bear has been moving through Lenina Street since 2006, being changed by the way. The bear 1.0 raised his paw not at the hotel “Ural”, but at the hotel “Kama” near the Organ Concert Hall of the Perm Regional Philharmonic. And it was cut from brown artificial stone by the sculptor Vladimir Pavlenko from Nizhny Tagil. It is bad that no matter how often the artificial stone is rubbed, it stays the same way. No shiny bumps and wishes coming true. Besides, the thick, smooth, brown sculpture strongly resembled something that it was not supposed to resemble.

Children liked that sculpture very much. But in 2007 the bear was gone. Then it returned. In 2008 it was gone again. An amazing speed for a monument weighing 2.5 tons. In 2009 the bear triumphantly returned - its updated version of bronze was installed in a new place: near the hotel “Ural”, opposite to the Permian Central Universal Department Store. With the time the author of the sculpture Pavlenko got a co-author, O. Krasnosheina. 

The Bear 2.0 lost its weight down to 1 ton. As compared with avant-garde art objects of Perm, the Bear 2.0 looks like classics of Soviet monumental genre. But if monuments to Lenin needed no additional explanation, “The Legend of Perm Bear” has its own legend.

According to the authors, the monument is a materialization of the good old stereotype of foreigners about Russia, where “bears walk through the streets”. The prototype for the bear’s image was the bear from the coat of arms of Perm that lost its gospel.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Perm Legends Russian Bears Perm Territory  

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