1888: The Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument

Ran into this monument while reading about the Detroit Publishing Company. As it often happens, looked into it a bit, and all familiar patterns revealed themselves. But what it really made me think about was the missing time. We simply have to have it, and that I will elaborate on closer to the end of this short article.

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Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument
The Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument is a monument in Kyiv dedicated to the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host Bohdan Khmelnytsky built in 1888. It is one of the oldest sculptural monuments, a dominating feature of Sophia Square and one of the city's symbols.
  • The monument is located almost in the middle of the Sophia Square (formerly the main city's square) on the axis that unites both belltowers of the Sophia Cathedral and the St.Michael's Monastery.
  • Here on 23 December 1648 residents of Kyiv met Khmelnytsky leading his Cossacks' regiments by entering the city through the Golden Gates soon after the victory over Polish Army at the battle of Pyliavtsi.
  • Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument, Kyiv - Wikipedia
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So... why would they even think about installing this monument 240 years after the events it was supposed to commemorate? Off the top of my head, I can think of this monument here:
It was also installed some 200 years after the events it was dedicated to. To a certain degree, we are facing a similar issue with some of our expos.

History & Installation
One would think that they at least would have enough money and resources to get this thing made and erected. After all, we know that there were some super fast builders at the time, which suggests money and skilled labor shouldn't have been an issue. Let's see how ridiculous the history of this monument sounds:
  • History of creating the monument appeared in public on initiative of a historian and professor of the Kyiv University Nikolay Kostomarov in 1840s.
    • The assistant director of the Kyiv School District Mikhail Yuzefovich supported that idea and originally wanted to establish the monument for the 200th anniversary of the 1654 Council of Pereyaslav.
    • The monument was supposed to be installed at the Bessarabian Square, for which the square carried the name of Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1869-1881.
    • However, the construction was postponed due to the Crimean War.
  • After receiving permission from the Tsar government in 1860 on establishment of the monument there was created a committee headed by Mikhail Yuzefovich, a professor of the St.Vladimir Imperial University, the head of the Kyiv Archaeography Commission, theorist of the Omni-State movement in Ukraine and the famous Ukrainophobe.
    • As result, the initial draft of the monument created by Mikhail Mikeshin was outright chauvinistic - the Khmelnytsky's horse was dropping a Polish szlachcic, Jewish leaseholder, and Jesuit from a cliff, in front of which a Little Russian, Red Russian, White Russian, and Great Russian were listening to the song of a blind kobzar.
    • Basrelief of the pedestal was showing images of the Siege of Zbarazh, the Council of Pereyaslav, and the scene of entering Kyiv by the Khmelnytsky's Cossack Host.
  • In 1863 the establishment of the monument was postponed again due to the 1863 January Uprising.
  • In 1868 Mikeshin who already was creating Khmelnytsky for the monument to the Millennium of Russia in Novgorod was offered to create a draft for the Kyiv's monument.
  • In 1869 the draft was approved and in 1870 on the Russian subscription there started fundraising for the monument.
    • However, the committee decided to cut the budget, due to the fact that the collected sum was small (only 37,000 rubles) as well as the monument was recognized as anti-Polish and anti-Semitic by the Kyiv Governor-General Prince Aleksandr Dondukov-Korsakov, leaving only the central figure of the Hetman.
1869 Draft
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  • In 1877 there was created a gypsum model of the monument.
  • In 1879 at the Saint Petersburg Baird Works was cast a statue that was materialized in metal on a Mikeshin's draft by Pius Weloński and Artemiy Ober and for which the Naval department donated 1,600 poodi (25.6 t) of scrap metal.
  • Portrait features and details of the Khmelnytsky's clothes were recreated on consultations of Volodymyr Antonovych.
  • In 1879 the statue was brought to Kyiv, however due to lack of funding for the construction of the pedestal, the works on installation of it were ceased until the mid 1880s and the statue for several years was being holdover in the courtyard of the Kyiv Government Office Building.
  • The city architect Vladimir Nikolayev designed a simpler pedestal and supervised its construction as well as the installation of the monument.
  • The Kyiv Fortress administration donated for the pedestal granite blocks that were left after the construction of the Nicholas Chain Bridge over Dnieper. On 23 June 1888 there took place a grand opening and consecration of the monument.
The Installation: this here is the only construction/installation photograph I was able to find. Did the photographer only take one picture of the entire event?
  • How did they get it up there?
  • What the heck is going on on this "installation" photograph?
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Check this out:
  • An urban legend says that when the monument was already installed, it turned out that the horse very indecently turned its tail towards the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral.
  • Therefore, the pedestal was turned around, and the hetman's mace , which, according to the plan, was supposed to threaten Poland, turned out to be directed somewhere in the direction of Sweden.
  • Contrary to another widespread legend, Bogdan never pointed towards Moscow.
    • Only the plates with the inscriptions on the pedestal reminded of the Moscow orientation of the monument:
      • "We will be imprisoned under the Eastern, Orthodox Tsar" and "United indivisible Russia for Bogdan Khmelnitsky."
    • In 1919 and 1924 they were replaced by “Bohdan Khmelnitsky. 1888 ".
  • Google Translated Russian Wiki
So... during the planning and installation phases they did not notice that horse's butt was pointing towards the cathedral? Or, was it always pointing towards Sweden, or may be initially towards Moscow?
  • Funny, but judging by the location of the cathedral in relation to this monument, the monument was never designed to be facing towards Poland.
    • ... if the direction of the horse's butt was important.
    • You can play with the map yourself.
  • Question: what knowledge were we denied?

KD: Just like I've mentioned in the beginning, I think we are missing a certain time span. Well, may be not missing, but its contents were replaced with some BS things we are able to recognize. It's like the newcomers were indoctrinating things left and right.

Anyways, would love to hear your thoughts as they pertain to this monument.
There are six men looking and picking at something on the ground. Is it gold leaf from the sculpture? It looks like they are intently looking for something. What are all those stones doing on the ground? Did a shower of stones strike the area knocking off the gold leaf from the sculpture? The man on the horse is oversized compared to the size of the horse. He is a giant. The sculpture has a cloth covering and the platform is using the sculpture as an attachment point to help the men repoint the stone plinth's mortar joints.
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