All change at The Motherland Monument in Ukraine
The Mother Ukraine Monument (Ukrainian: Україна-Мати, ‘Mother Ukraine’) is a must-see statue in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine and is undergoing a massive change in her looks. What is Mother Ukraine Monument and the history behind it?
Where is Mother Ukraine Monument?
The monument is a part of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War. This museum was known as the Museum of the Great Patriotic War until 2015 when the name was changed.
The story behind its construction
Seemingly, the discussion for a monument reaches back to In the 1950s. There was a plan to have twin statues of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, each 200m tall. This didn’t go ahead and the story goes that in the 1970s, a group of Communist Party officials and Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich looked across and decided the panorama needed a war memorial.
Unfortunately, Yevgeny Vuchetich died and the sculpture was reworked by Vasyl Borodai. Construction in 1978 at an estimated cost of 9 million rubles (£75,000). The statue opened in 1981 in a ceremony attended by Leonid Brezhnev.
How is the statue constructed?
The project was realized at the Paris Commune Plant in Kyiv and used one-and-a-half millimetre thick foliated stainless steel. The basic steel carcass weighs around 280 tonnes, the auxiliary carcass with plating of 108 tonnes and one and a half millimetre stainless steel coverage weighing 90 tonnes.
The figure of a woman with a shield and a sword in her hands was installed on the tapered pedestal of 40 meters high (total height is 102 meters, weight is 500 tonnes), The sculpture’s height is 62 meters.
About 30 kilometres of the welding seams were made during the joint assembly and welding process.
When you look at the sculpture, it’s hard to believe that a small shield has a size of 12×8 meters; the sword length is 16 meters.
Viewing platforms can be found at 36.6 and 91.0 meters high.
In April 2015, the parliament of Ukraine outlawed Soviet and communist symbols, street names, and monuments as part of the decommunisation of Ukraine. World War II monuments are excluded from these laws. In February 2018, the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych stated that the Soviet state emblem on the shield of the monument should be removed to comply with the country’s decommunisation laws and be replaced with the Ukrainian trident coat of arms.
In July 2023, DIAM urban planning agency announced that the Soviet state emblem would be replaced with the Ukrainian trident coat of arms with the work carried out on 1st August 2023. Replacement with the Ukrainian Trident should be completed by 24th August, Ukraine’s Independence Day. The name will also be changed from Motherland Monument to the Mother-Ukraine statue.
Ukrainian Motherland Monument, Lavrska St, Kyiv.