An imposing sculpture towering over 320 feet above the Moscow River, the statue of Peter the Great has been surrounded by controversy since opening in 1992. Created by Russian designer Zurab Tsereteli, whose other works include innovative - if not altogether welcome - updates of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and an enormous statue of Christopher Columbus which was rejected by a number of US states before being erected in Puerto Rico. Speaking of whom, the Peter the Great monument was allegedly intended to be a monument to this controversial historical figure, but was re-purposed for Russia when no buyer could be found.
Today the sculpture is located in a small inlet in the Moscow River, despite several attempts to get rid of it during its brief history. On one occasion a terrorist group planned its destruction by placing explosives in its base; and later funds were raised to carry out its demolition. Moscow authorities have also offered to transfer it to Saint Petersburg, but to no avail.
Notwithstanding whether they think it's attractive or not, much of the Muscovites' hatred of the statue is due to their opinion of Peter the Great, a leader who hated Moscow and rejected it as capital, founding Saint Petersburg instead!
A strange monument
Although considered by many to be among the ugliest sculptures in the world, the statue of Peter the Great in Moscow is undoubtedly interesting. If you're in the area already, for example to take a stroll in the lovely Gorky Park, it's worth stopping for a moment to see it with your own eyes.