Caitlin Oakley (Russian Studies Program, College of William and Mary)
Over the course of the past two decades, Mikhail Chemiakin’s statue of Peter the First has received mixed responses. At its unveiling on 7 June 1991, people were appalled at the monument’s irreverent representation of emperor, but in more recent years, some Petersburgers have developed if not liking at least some strange attachment to the statue. Despite being only 20 years old, the monument is already surrounded by legends and traditions. The monument even received a nickname, the “Bronze-Stay-At-Home”. My research seeks to compare and contrast the evolving representations of the monument in current travel guides, cultural histories, and oral accounts produced by the locals and international tourists.