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Design Chosen for Moscow Monument Commemorating Gulag Victims

"Wall of Grief" Gulag History Museum

The winner of a public initiative competition to design a Moscow monument honoring victims of the gulags has been chosen from 336 entries by a jury and team of experts.

Sculptor Georgy Frangulyan announced Wednesday on his website that his proposal "Wall of Grief," a large-scale relief of human figures symbolizing gulag victims, had been selected.

The monument is to be erected within Moscow's Garden Ring, at the intersection of Sadovo-Spasskaya Ulitsa and Prospekt Akademika Sakharova, according to the contest's website, organized by the Moscow City Department of Culture and the Gulag History Museum.

The design was selected by a jury of 26 Russian cultural figures: author Daniil Granin, filmmakers Stanislav Govorukhin, Pavel Lungin, Sergei Miroshnichenko and Gleb Panfilov, human rights activists Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Arseny Roginsky of Memorial, Alexei Simonov of the Glasnost Defense Foundation, and human rights ombudswoman Ella Pamfilova, among others.

Although the contest was sponsored by the Moscow city government, independent Ekho Moskvy radio reported Thursday that Russians were donating money online to finance construction of the monument, which is scheduled to be unveiled by October 2016.

President Vladimir Putin had previously instructed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and other officials to present proposals for the site and design of a Moscow monument to commemorate victims of political purges, the Lenta.ru news website reported Tuesday.

Frangulyan, the sculptor, will receive a monetary award of 350,000 ($5,300) for his winning design, the Gulag History Museum said, government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

Competition runners-up — artists Sergei Muratov and Yelena Bocharova — will be awarded 300,000 rubles and 250,000 rubles respectively, the report said.

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