The Monument “Playing Children”

There are numerous funny and unusual monuments in Belarusian capital. They not only memorize important events but also cheer up passers-by. No doubt, the sculpture “Playing Children” can elicit a smile.

Some words about the author

The author of the monument “Playing Children” (which also has other popular names – “Happy Childhood”, “The Children’s Play” and even playful “Give the Shorts!”) is the famous architect Nicolay Ivanovich Kondratyev. He had already earned fame in Belorussia and abroad with such prominent projects as “Spirituality. The Renaissance – Orthodox and Catholic Churches” (graphical cycles created during 1995-1997), the monument in Osipovichsky district “The Burned Village” and many others.

Kondratyev came fr om Russia, fr om Altai region where there is a village with an interesting name of Vysokaya Griva. He got his education at Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, wh ere he at once displayed an outstanding talent and a unique vision of the outworld. Afterwards the artist and sculptor moved to Belarus, wh ere he began to create in the widest sense of the word.

Among famous early works the most significant is the painting “Fishers”, pictured in 1969, and also there are some original psychological portraits of famous Belarusian people (Y.Kolas, Y.Kupala and others).

The famous sculpture

The monument “Playing Children” in Minsk is rather old; it appeared in Vera Horuzhey Street in the early 80-s of the last century. The composition was at once fallen in love to the inhabitants and visitors, and that is easily explained.

The monument depicts children like those as we were at one time. The key figure is a girl, resentful and angry (as it possible at such an early age) with a boy and trying to take his shorts. Hence the widespread title of the composition has become clear.

The composition includes six children each is engaged into his own activity but it looks like they are playing together. As we all remember, this commonly happens during childish games.

The main idea for Nicolay Kondratyev to create such an original sculpture was to bring back fond memories in the hearts of  people watching the monument about their dead and gone childhood, to bring back to the carefree period even the busiest and the most serious city people.  And certainly he succeeded in it.

Today the group of children arranged in the canopy of leaves in one of the most popular metropolitan street attracts not only the inhabitants of the nearby districts but also foreign guests making children and adults smile.

Nicolay Kondratyev left behind heritage that maybe is not historically significant but it is a real decoration of the city.