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City news, 19.03.2005 18:08

Zhores Alferov's Bronze Bust

Zhores Alferov On Tuesday, when Nobel Prize winner Academician Zhores Alferov turns 75, the famous physicist's bronze bust was unveiled at St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions. It became the first bust on the Alley of Honorary Doctors of this higher school.

Men of science and art from St. Petersburg participated in the ceremony, including actor Kirill Lavrov, composer Andrei Petrov, scientist Nikolai Skatov, and art director and choreographer Boris Eifman. All of them are honorary doctors of the Humanitarian University. Zhores Alferov did not participate in the ceremony because of ailing health.

Writer Daniil Granin addressed the audience by praising the physicist's distinguished services. "As director of the Physics Institute, he has at his heart science which has always been his lifework," said Mr. Granin.

The University press service reported that Albert Charkin, a famous sculptor and merited artist of Russia, made the bust. It is the first of the 17 sculptures being made by decision of the Scientific Council that wished to immortalize all its 17 honorary doctors. The next monuments to be erected in the alley will be the busts of composer Georgy Sviridov and scientist Dmitry Likhachev.

According to the press service, a group of scientists from the University researched the possibility of creating monuments of living dignitaries. They concluded that throughout the world history the tradition of creating sculptures of living dignitaries had always existed.

As a rule, such sculptures were made to glorify emperors and military leaders, to preserve the image of outstanding personalities for descendants, or simply as works of art. In the Soviet Union, bronze busts were erected in the home cities and villages of twice Heroes of the USSR. In St. Petersburg's modern history there had been only one sculpture of a contemporary - the bronze monument to the three times Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling Alexander Karelin, the press service reports.

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