December 25, 2021

Fyodor in Florence


Fyodor in Florence
The City of Lilies Wikimedia Commons user Martin Falbisoner

The city of Florence, Italy, is so proud of its short-term resident Fyodor Dostoyevsky that it recently erected a statue to the writer.

In Florence, Dostoyevsky finished writing one of his most famous novels, The Idiot. A plaque has long hung at the location where he finished the novel. He and his second wife, Anna, lived in Florence for about eight months in 1868-1869. Although the author notably disliked all of the abroad, he appreciated Florence more than anywhere else.

The 3.5-meter-high (11-foot-high) statue was installed in Cascine Park on the outskirts of Florence, where an allée is already named after Dostoyevsky. The Russian ambassador to Italy attended the unveiling of the statue on December 14, as well as the advisor to the Russian president on cultural matters, Vladimir Tolstoy. Ironically, Tolstoy is the great-grandson of writer Lev Tolstoy, who was Dostoyevsky's contemporary, though they never met. Dostoyevsky complained that he could never hope to write something as memorable as Count Lev Tolstoy, who did not have to scrounge for money the way that the former did.

The statue was a gift from the Russian government to Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. It was sculpted by Russian artist Aydyn Zeynalov. The gift is part of the 200th anniversary year of Dostoyevsky's birth (2021).

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