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Monument to Bribe


Why bribe? Well... the monument is called Monument to Orange formally. It shows an orange. Yet the locals call this monument as quoted above. And there is reason. To understand, let’s review the historical events the monument is based on.

Empress Catherine the 2nd, Odessa’s mother, died in 1796. It is well-known that there was no love lost between her and her son Paul the 1st. As soon as he had become the emperor, he started to cancel everything she did or redo it his way even though she could not see it. It looked like he set a goal to torpedo all of her achievements. In particular, the construction of the new port and city was suspended.

The legend has it that smart Odessites found a way to win over Paul the 1st. It was simple: just treat him to something tasty. The city council decreed to send 3,000 oranges to St.Petersburg in care of the court. And it worked! The emperor changed his attitude and gave permission to allot 250,000 roubles for the port development. This saved the town!

So, Odessa kind of ransomed itself with a bribe of 3,000 oranges. This is the official version.

But there is an unofficial version of the monument name origin. The thing is that donations for the monument were optional. But mandatory at the same time. The director of a forwarding company who worked in the port then remembers that the port customs would not start working with papers of a company unless the company provided proof of donations.

We will never know who and how much made on this monument, what the kick-offs were like, who was the true owner of the company that built the monument and how much the construction really cost. So the name of the monument is more than justified…

Initially the monument was set up elsewhere, in Lanjeronovskaya Street. However, many of the Odessites did not think that it belonged there. UNESCO thought alike. Finally, it was moved to the present location.

The formal opening took place on September the 2nd, 2004, for the 210th birthday of Odessa. The sculptor was A.Tokarev, the architect was V.Glazyrin.






Street Address

Jvanetskovo Boulevard, Odessa, Ukraine.

Geographical Positions

E30°44'1.35" N46°29'28.35" (E30.733708° N46.491208°).


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