Letter: True worth of the Tragedy of Peoples

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The Independent Online
Phil Reeves reports that Russian critics complain about Tsereteli's Tragedy of Peoples monument ("Moscow raises monuments to ambitions of its mayor", 22 September).

It is one of the most moving tributes ever paid by any artist to the sufferings of children, women and men in war. The wandering line of dignified, gaunt, shaven-headed figures disintegrating into a pile of gravestones; the victims' clothes, violins, dolls, spectacles, teddy bears scattered on both sides of a wall; the wall broken by the weight of gravestones, by the deaths of these people. It was by the deaths of so many innocent men, women and children that Nazism was broken.

Too many memorials glorify the battle and honour the victor: this one recongises the price paid through humanity's sufferings. That the sculptor is a compatriot of Stalin makes the message yet more compelling.

Ewart Parkinson