Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Bath for Alexander Sergeyevich

Statue of A. S. Pushkin on Arts Square in St. Petersburg / Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Today is banya day for Pushkin. His birthday is tomorrow, after all, so Russians want to be sure that their national poet is spick and span for the celebration. In Saint Petersburg, according to one Russian newspaper, experts from the Museum of City Sculpture, with a little help from local actors, will give the Pushkin statue on Arts Square a thorough scrubbing, but everyone is welcome to swing by with their own statuettes to take part in a truly public, open-air bathhouse. I hope the people themselves keep their pants on...

As for me, when I get to Petersburg on Friday, I'll pass through the square and make sure that the poet is looking his best. I hear that the sculpture-scrubbing specialists from the museum bathed the Bronze Horseman on the Neva embankment not too long ago, and maybe they'll get around to him again soon, but for a while at least, Alexander Sergeyevich will be the cleanest fellow in town.