Coming round the corner from the British Embassy in Kyiv towards the ornate turquoise and gold St Andrew’s Church at the top of Andriyivsky Uzviz there is a group of school children. They are chattering excitedly as they pass a small statue.
Giving them time, we wait, unsure of what it is that has caught their attention. As they leave we see an ‘interesting statue” of a man proposing to a woman. Areas that have been rubbed for luck are shining in the winter sun. Her ring, the beetle on the back of his coat as well as her arms all glisten against the weathered green and orange of the remainder of the bronze.
A little bit of digging (this wasn’t in any of the guides we had read), revealed that this is a monument to the fated love of Pronia Prokopovna and Golohvastov. In the rather unique Ukrainian movie “After Two Hares” based on a play by Mykhalio Staritsky, a rich, but apparently less than stunning resident of Kiev – Pronia Prokopovna was falling in love with a poor, but handsome barber called Golohvastov. He pretended to be a rich and famous designer and promised to marry Pronia. However, as with all these stories he only loved her for her money and the night before the wedding all was revealed.
The monument is symbolic of the romantic intentions between couples with the beetle on the back of Golohvastov a reminder that they may not be as they seem.
This little monument is surrounding by buildings so a clean background really isn’t easy. It is in full sun in the morning making shadows a bit of a nightmare. Focussing on the details makes it easier to record this little piece of the city.
This monument is located at the top of Andriyivsky Uzviz just beyond the steps and ticket office for St Andrew’s Church in the centre of Kyiv.