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The exhibition of Ural stone-cutters in the Mining Museum was enriched with new exhibits

© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

On Tuesday, 7 November, the Empress Catherine II Saint Petersburg Mining University announced that the temporary exhibition "The Wealth of the Mineral Resources in the Art of Stone Carvers" has been enriched with new exhibits. The total number of sculptural compositions created by contemporary Ural artists in the technique of volumetric mosaic and presented in the Cadet Hall of the Mining Museum has reached 11 copies. They are distinguished not only by the elaboration of the smallest details and unique aesthetics, referring to the magical world of Russian bylinas and fairy tales, but also by the obvious emphasis on the historical continuity of generations that forged the greatness of our country.

"Visitors can not only admire these masterpieces, but also learn what specific materials they were made of. For example, the dress of one of the most interesting works - 'Russia', which is an interpretation of a cast-iron sculpture by Nikolai Laveretsky - is made of rhodonite. And the scarf of "Kupava" is made of chalcedony, which is so finely worked that the stone transmits light and looks like fabric," said Mikhail Shabalov, Director of the Mining Museum.

© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

He also recalled that the main idea of the exhibition was to emphasise the inextricable link between the history of Russia and the development of the mining industry, which both before and now represents the backbone of the national economy. That is why, in addition to the stone figures themselves, there are also exhibits on the history of the industry and the tools needed to create all these unique works.

As for the new items exhibited in the museum specially for the 250th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Mining University, the figures "Ilya Muromets" and "George the Victor", as well as "Suvorov" and "Grenadier" stand out structurally. They are designed to further emphasise the main idea of the project: the historical connection of our state with Kievan and Moscow Rus', as well as the Russian Empire.

Илья Муромец
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

"Immediately after the opening, which took place at the beginning of October, we received excellent feedback from visitors, so together with the management of St. Petersburg Mining University we decided to supplement the exhibition with new sculptures. And we timed its expansion to coincide with the birthday of Russia's first higher technical education institution. We are happy to congratulate the staff, students and graduates of the university in this way," commented Alexander Shmotiev, Director of the Ekaterinburg Foundation for Support of Culture and Art of the Shmotiev Family, which owns all these exhibits.

It should be noted that all the statues were made in various Urals workshops. It will be possible to look at them till the middle of January - the entrance for students and employees of the university is free. In addition, every day, during the big break, from 12.10 to 12.30, the museum additionally organises excursions with entrance through the Cadet Hall.

Георгий Победоносец
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов