Arbat Street Attraction: Princess Turandot Fountain to be restored

April 6

The development of the project for the Princess Turandot monument repair has begun. It is on the Arbat Street, house 26. This is the building of the Vakhtangov Theater.

The sculptural composition with a fountain was erected in 1997. Its presentation was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the first theatrical production of the Princess Turandot play. The premiere took place in 1922. The play was directed by Evgeny Vakhtangov. The production based on the fairy tale of the same name by Carlo Gozzi was made in the manner of the area commedia dell'arte and became a symbol of the Vakhtangov theater school.

In 1963, Ruben Simonov resumed the play in which a new generation of actors was involved. Among them were Yulia Borisova, Lyudmila Maksakova, Vasily Lanovoy, Yuri Yakovlev. The theater production became the hallmark of the theater and for many years adorned its repertoire.

In the story, Princess Turandot, the daughter of the Chinese emperor, does not want to marry. She amuses herself by getting rid of hapless suitors who don't pass her test. The princess asks them three difficult riddles, and those who do not guess, order to execute. This happens until the resourceful Prince Kalaf appears in the city, who manages to melt the heart of a cruel beauty.

The Princess Turandot monument was designed by the sculptor Alexander Burganov. This is a fountain with an oval-shaped granite bowl the sides of which are made in the form of a bench. In the center of the fountain, the gold plated sculpture of Princess Turandot is placed. She sits atop a throne under a magnificent baldachin. The pedestal on which the throne stands is made in the form of a stylized gazebo-rotunda.

"The sculptural composition with the Princess Turandot fountain is one of the most famous attractions of Arbat. Near the monument, you can always see a lot of people: here they traditionally make appointments, take photos and just relax. To provide the monument proper view, a repair project is being developed by order of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow. The works will be related to both the fountain and the elegant gold-plated sculpture of the princess," commented Alexey Yemelyanov, Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow.

To develop the project, specialists will conduct bibliographic and historical-archival research, and study all the features of the monument as well. Repair of the monument-fountain is planned to be done in 2022-2023. During repair, specialists will have to eliminate all surface defects, as well as treat them with protective compounds. The full list of works will be known after the approval of the project documentation with Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow.
In September last year, a monument to Yevgeny Vakhtangov himself appeared in front of the theater building. The composition was made of bronze by People's Artist of Russia Alexander Rukavishnikov, Honored Artist of Russia Maxim Obrezkov and Honored Architect of Russia Igor Voskresensky. The monument opening took place in the year of the 100th anniversary of the E.B. Vakhtangov Theater.

In the center of the composition is the figure of the director. He is depicted sitting on a chair that is covered by a theater curtain. On the curtain itself, behind Vakhtangov, the names of 100 performances staged since the theater foundation that have made the theater famous are engraved. Among them — The Miracle of St. Anthony and, of course, Princess Turandot.


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