The Arena Plaza shopping center, located on the first floor of the VTB Arena, hosted the grand opening of the exhibition composition. Restored bas-reliefs by Soviet monumental sculptor Sergei Merkurov became its centerpiece.
The art space with an area of 1500 square meters is located in front of the FC Dynamo fan shop. It will be open to the public every day.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the management of the VTB Arena and the Dynamo Society. The event was also attended by Anton Merkurov, Sergei Merkurov’s great-grandson.
Sergei Merkurov is one of the most eminent sculptors of the Stalin era, People’s Artist, member of the USSR Academy of Arts. The bas-reliefs of him are objects of cultural heritage. Researchers believe that they have a special artistic and historical value, and also represent a practical embodiment of the scientific and philosophical ideas of such a trend as modernism. The theme of the bas-reliefs is traditional: themes of sports and paramilitary sports activities.
Initially, bas-reliefs were installed on the porticos of the south and north facades of the Dynamo Stadium in the 1930s. When the global reconstruction of the stadium began, six plates were dismantled from a height of 20 meters. The most damaged fragments were classified in 120 special wooden boxes for storage. The restoration of the complex lasted two years, from 2016 to 2018. But it is impossible to hang the original bas-reliefs on the facade of the stadium, as they can collapse; the experts came to such a conclusion based on the results of the research work. Therefore, fiber-reinforced concrete copies were made, which were placed on the facades of the VTB Arena.
In addition, there are information stands behind the bas-reliefs. Guests can get acquainted with the history of the stadium, with the process of creating bas-reliefs and their subsequent reconstruction.
We are very happy with the opening of this facility. Thanks to the restoration office that restored these bas-reliefs. Thanks to the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow, which together with our company organized and created this space in three months. Now visitors to the VTB Arena and visitors to the shopping center can touch the history of Dynamo. This event is organized within the framework of the centenary of the society and the Dynamo football club, and in August the stadium itself will be 95 years old. This is part of a series of our events. Much is planned for April in honor of the centennial. We are also planning to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the stadium, but we will not reveal the cards yet,” Andrey Luntovsky, General Director of the VTB Arena, told Soviet Sport.