How fellow countrymen put on Lev Nikolaevich?there is no prophet in the fatherland: here and Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy who glorified the small homeland long did without monument in Tula. More precisely, Tula did without monument to Tolstoy.
In imperial times in the provincial center did not think of a monument to the great writer from - for ambiguous the attitudes of “tops“ towards the identity of the great writer. The Soviet Tula a special need in a monument to “a mirror of the Russian revolution“, obviously, did not test: in the half-closed city of armorers foreign tourists were almost not, and those who specially came from - for a boundary on the Tula earth to bow Lev Nikolaevich`s memories, carried usually to Yasnaya Polyana directly, without stopping in the regional center …
at the end of 1950 - x years announced the All-Union competition on the best monument to Tolstoy - naturally, for Moscow. First place was won by the project of the sculptor Alexey Portyanko which represented Lev Nikolaevich sitting, his figure as if would grow from a boulder. The commission gave the second place to Vyacheslav Buyakin`s work. The sculpture of six-meter height represented the writer in the movement, Tolstoy as if walked on the native earth, and low - less than a meter - the pedestal strengthened this impression.
The monument on the first project was established on the Maiden field in Moscow, near the Khamovniki house of Tolstoy instead of the former sculpture of the work of Sergey Merkurov standing there since 1927 and postponed for the territory of the state museum of L. N. Tolstoy. The second project was realized in Tula.
“In August - the beginning of September, 1973, the day before 145 - the anniversaries since the birth of L. N. Tolstoy, at the very beginning of the wide boulevard conducting from Lenin Avenue to an entrance to Belousovsky park the high fence appeared, - remembered quarter of the century later the Tula journalist and the local historian Evald Korotkov. - Behind it from early morning to the dead of night, and in recent days day and night work was humming. When, at last, the fence was cleaned, the mighty statue covered with a white panel seemed. And around uneasily went a little different from the workers striving a row, demanding something to complete, to correct, bring to perfection the pedestal covered with the polished granite, the author of a monument“.
Buyakin`s coauthor, the architect Alexander Kolchin, was during that time in foreign business trip, and here communicated with Vyacheslav Ivanovich Korotkov repeatedly and wrote down the story about its work on image of Tolstoy.
The solution of a monument came to Buyakin not at once: “To Tolstoy I went in the long way. What it has to be? You want - you do not want, Lenin estimates climbed in the head: understood that when take over work, by all means will remember them. And how to compare, say, “the landowner, the foolish in Christ“ with “a block, the experienced great man“? Here also fought, tried a set of options. Re-read a great lot of books and Tolstoy`s articles, his letters, reminiscence of contemporaries of it. There were joyful minutes when it seemed that the image is grabbed truly, but they were replaced by disappointment, then understood that the main thing so - and is not found. I wanted to show Tolstoy close to the earth, to the people, to put it on a traditional high pedestal it seemed impossible. Finally became stronger in the plan when read about Tolstoy at Gorky: “He reminds those wanderers with sticks which all life measure the earth... It goes on roads and footpaths fast, urgent gait of the skillful tester of the earth and a sharp eye from which any stone will not disappear and the uniform thought, looks, measures, feels, compares and scatters around itself live grains of unrestrained thought“.
As envisioned by the sculptor bronze Tolstoy had to be barefoot. However at discussion of the project at meeting of executives of the city and representatives of the creative intellectuals which passed before the sending a sculpture for casting there was a doubt: whether Tolstoy without footwear could go? Obviously, the question was generated by desire to disprove a song known at that time about Lev Nikolaevich - in it it was said that “he did not eat either fishes, or meat, went on avenues barefoot“, and here the wife his Sofya Andreevna, “opposite, liked to eat, and barefoot did not go - stored noble honor“.
The course of discussion of the project is confirmed by the protocol which kept the different points of view. “I got used to see it in boots. It always was in assembled form and it would not allow“, - literally one of participants of discussion so reasoned the position. Confused also the place allocated for a monument - opposite to the ancient alcoholic beverage plant standing through the road. However, this question was removed by the secretary of regional committee of that time of CPSU on ideology, having declared: “Let there will be a figure going towards alcoholic beverage plant. But it is possible to put it so that no association will exist here. I support that Tolstoy to alcoholic beverage plant barefoot did not dotopat“.
As a result decided to put on Lev Nikolaevich, and the huge six-meter figure had boots 135 - go the size. For the rest, judging by official reaction, bronze Tolstoy so was successful that the Moscow administration even wanted to select him for the capital, but the Lev Nikolaevich`s inhabitants of Tula defended, Buyakin told.
In the sunny September afternoon the monument was solemnly open. “Here it, great Russian writer, artist and thinker! Probably, it its image is represented to millions of admirers“, - the regional party newspaper “Kommunar“ wrote about this event.
Other opinion there was Lev Nikolaevich`s daughter, Aleksandra Lvovna: “It something indescribable on lack of any similarity and on lack of talent. Everything is incorrect: look, nose, hair, clothes. For some reason something is piled on a sleeve. The blouse style in some folds is lower belts, boots - and it not the first dull image. Why do not take good portraits where Lev Nikolaevich is similar to himself, but not to some wanderer?“
Ambiguously belonged to a monument and citizens. According to Korotkov, one his acquaintance right there responded quite clumsy couplet: “The great genius of the Russian people / Got up before the winery building“. Right there was also a joke. “Where Lev Nikolaevich so hurries? - Yes behind vodka. Which year will not reach in any way - hard put to go“. And still said that with each increase in prices for alcohol Lev Nikolaevich blackens more and more from a grief because there is not enough money for “bubble“.
Well and if it is serious - for last decades the monument became a peculiar hallmark, an integral part of image of Tula, and it is already somehow difficult to present without it this part of the central avenue of the city.