Interview of the President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli about the Creation of His Good Defeats Evil Monument

On the threshold of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Organization the President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli has given an interview to the UN Radio reporter relating his monument “Good Defeats Evil” standing on the north lawn in front of the UN Headquarters in New York. The interview is the first in a series dedicated to gifts received by the Organization from its member-states.

The monument created out of the fragments of the dismantled American “Pershing- 2” and Soviet SS-20 nuclear missiles was presented as a gift to the UNO from the former Soviet Union in 1990 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the UNO and symbolized the end of the “cold war”.

Speaking about the prehistory of the monument’s creation Zurab Tsereteli has said: “The idea came when the American-Soviet relations have exceeded the limits of   discretion and confrontation and missiles “Pershing-2” and SS-20 were deployed. The idea was how to prevent the use of the weapons against nations and peoples. I was thinking about who could stop the dissemination of weapons created by science and eliminate such a terrible threat. Only Saints.  Who exactly? St. George the Victorious. The Good Defeats Evil monument depicts St. George who is destroying “Pershing-2” and SS-20 missiles. My call has received a wide resonance. A site was allocated for the monument and there was an unveiling ceremony attended by American and Soviet leaders and the UN Secretary-General.

I have recently received an invitation to come to New York to restore the monument that has not undergone any maintenance since its installation and I am going to do it as soon as possible”.      

In response to the reporter’s question: “Don’t you think that it is time to create a new sculpture for the United Nations?” Zurab Tsereteli said: “I am always prepared and will be pleased to make it. If the United Nations Organization wants me to create something else, I will be happy to fulfill their proposal. Recently, in France in front of the Notre Dame de Paris has been unveiled my sculpture of John Paul II. At present, I am completing my concept how the Europeans discovered America. Its first part –  “The Birth of a New Man” monument stands in Seville (Spain), the second part – the 126 m tall “Birth of a New World” monument is being constructed now in Puerto Rico”.      

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