The ceremonial opening of the monument to the seal-savior was connected to the 65th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War at the Mir Square.
On the 6th of May 2010th the citizens, the representatives of the social organization “The children of the War” and of the regional government and the municipality of the town gathered at the embankment for this important event. That was the social organization “The children of the War” who became the initiator of the installation of the monument. The sculptor and the architect Igor Skripkin is the author of the monument.
The seal deserves this monument. This animal’s meat and grease, which were got from the Barents and the White Sea, helped to the citizens of Arkhangelsk and Leningrad to survive the famine during the War. These products were being sent to the blockaded Leningrad along “the road of life”.
The sculpture’s weight is 900 kg, and its height is about 1,5 metre. ”The monument is placed on the pedestal made of white and grey granite, which is placed on the black platform. The light pedestal symbolizes an ice floe, the dark platform is a symbol of the cold arctic waters. The capsule with the names of those who helped the historic and noble idea of installing the monument to come to life was laid in the monument’s foundation. The schoolchildren placed toys and sweets in front of the monument as a symbol of gratitude to the animal which saved people and made the victory over fascism closer.”
“During the Great Patriotic War Arkhangelsk became the second city in Russia, after Leningrad, with the high mortality rate. During the War more than 38 thousand people died because of the famine. The veterans say that the daily bread allowance reached 125 g in the military Arkhangelsk as in the city on Neva. The seals’ meat and grease saved thousands of people from dying of starvation.”
Not only the citizens of the town liked the idea of installing the monument but the seals, too! The fishermen and the helicopter pilots who were working in the White Sea the day the monument was opened were telling a surprising story: the seals didn’t quit the ice floes, waiting for the opening of the monument, even in such a bad weather! Five seals were sitting on the ice floes (sometimes they travel on them to the Northern Dvina), and watching the opening of the monument. Later the seals swam away to Novaya Zemlya and to Franz Josef Land.
Lebedeva Galina Kuzminichna, the initiator of the monument creation and one of the founders of the social organization “The children of the War” gave an interview, devoted the opening of the monument and the organization’s activity to one of Arkhangelsk print editions “The Northern Press”.
The article “How the seals saved Arkhangelsk” tells what was meant to live through to make the appearance of the monument possible.
On foot from the centre of the town. You will see the monument to the seal walking along the Northern Dvina Embankment.