Many people remember: “The Decembrists woke Herzen up. Herzen launched revolutionary agitation.” The grateful Soviet authorities were going to pompously celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of this revolution bell. Among other events, the jubilee commission decided to erect a monument to Herzen that had already been planned in the Lenin monumental propaganda program. They determined a place for the future monument: the public garden in front of the building of Moscow State University on Mokhovaya street. Nikolay Andreev became its sculptor. Andreev told his customers from Moscow City Council that it would be necessary to remove the grating in front of the building to erect Herzen alone. The People’s Commissariat for Education felt sorry for the newly restored grating and opposed this idea. Then the sculptor offered to erect Ogarev near Herzen. Ogarev, however, was not going to have any anniversaries, but he was a close Herzen’s friend and swore an oath to fight against autocracy together with him. The grating was saved, but nonetheless the deadline was not met. Thus, on the day of the anniversary celebrations, on January 19, 1920, they only laid monuments to the revolutionary democrats, as they are recommended by the Soviet era guidebooks. The friends stood in front of their alma mater only in 1922: at Moscow University, Herzen studied at the physics and mathematics department, and Ogarev – at the department of moral and political sciences.
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Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.
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