VELIKY NOVGOROD, September 9 (RIA Novosti)
Veliky Novgorod’s remarkable monument celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of Russian statehood is getting a $13,000 facelift ahead of the 1,150th anniversary, a representative of Novgorod’s State Museum and Conservancy told RIA Novosti.
Unveiled on September 8, 1862, the 50-foot-high Millenium of Russia monument traces the first 1,000 years of Russian history with bronze statues of 129 rulers and cultural figures, from the Varangian chieftain Rurik to the Romanovs and 19th century artists and scholars.
In a nod to local sensibilities, one notable figure was left off the monument: Ivan the Terrible, who sacked Novgorod in 1570, massacring thousands of city residents.
Veliky Novgorod, the seat of the medieval Republic of Novgorod, will celebrate the 1,150th anniversary of Russian statehood on September 21-23.
The monumental cleanup job, the first since the 1990s, targets removal of accumulated dirt, soot, dust, lichen, moss and bird droppings.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.