The Bust of the Giant, also known as the Dying Alexander, which has been gracing the Colonnade of the Cameron Gallery in the Catherine Park for ages, was seriously damaged on 22 July.
The eighteenth-century bust was “inadvertently overturned” by an underage visitor, as his parents explained after the museum security guards were alarmed by the sound of a fall and arrived to write the incident report.
The bronze copy after the Antique original was cast at the Petersburg Imperial Academy of Fine Arts by master Edam Gastecloux in 1794. It survived the Second World War. The fall caused several chips and cracks on the bust and the column behind it. A horizontal crack around the Giant’s head is especially dangerous. Our experts will have to assess the damage. The boy's parents will have to reimburse the restoration expenses.
Vandals remain the menace for our park sculptures. Another eighteenth-century bronze bust was overturned and damaged at the Cameron Gallery in autumn 2019, while the others often suffer from being “rubbed for luck” by visitors. The Gladiator near the Grotto pavilion had its hand torn out and its head harmed several times until the fragile copper electrotype was replaced with a bronze copy in 2016.
Once again Tsarskoe Selo is asking visitors to be careful around the priceless artefacts in the parks.