"Miners’ glory" monument
“Miners’ glory” is the main symbol of Karaganda, the renowned miners’ capital of Kazakhstan. The city was built in the 1930’s due to the rapid development of coal industry in the region. In the 1950’s it became one of the largest industrial centers in the USSR. This monument is a fine example of Soviet architecture. It was erected in 1974 upon the project of a famous sculptor, A.P.Bilyk. According to Bilyk, the monument was designed to glorify the self-sacrificing labour of the miners of Karaganda, as well as celebrate friendship of numerous peoples of the Soviet Union. Bearing this idea in mind, he depicted two miners, a Kazakh and a Russian, proudly holding a coal slab above their heads. The Kazakh miner, a symbolic owner of the national resources of the region, holds it with both of his hands, whereas the Russian worker merely helps his friend with one hand. Ironically, due to this compositional detail, the monument came to be known among common people under the name of “How a Russian played a trick on a Kazakh”. This cult monument is also known as “Don’t approach or I’ll hit you”. However, despite such jokes, residents of Karaganda like the monument and gladly take photos in front of it. Young people of Karaganda often choose “Miners’ glory”, as well as central park of culture and leisure behind it, as a meeting point and place for spending their free time.