Monuments of Abai

One of the main attractions of the city of Semey is the monument devoted to Abai. Its official opening was in September 1972 on Abai Square. The authors of the monument are sculptor Elbakidze and architect Shingarevi. Created image of Abai  is full of greatness and wisdom. The sculptor found an expressive solution for the embodiment of the image of the great Kazakh thinker. Abai is depicted to his full height, dressed in Kazakh robe and a tyubeteika. Abai holds a book in his left hand. A book is a symbol of literary and enlightening activity of Abai. Abai’s right hand is pressed to his chest, this gesture enhances the impression of sincerity of the image. It seems that Abai will now turn to the people and express his innermost  thoughts.

The height of the sculptural figure is 7 m., the height of the pedestal is 1.5 m. The figure of the writer is majestic. The monument is made of gray granite. On the left side of the pedestal is an inscription in Kazakh and Russian: “Can we call a person dead if he left the inheritance of the wisdom of the immortal words”.

Thanks to the initiative of the akim of the Beskaragai district a monument to Abai put up in  the village of Beskaragai (the regional center) –  in early August 2014, An active part in its construction was taken by the team of the municipal diversified enterprise Vodnik, led by Sergey Redkozubov. Thanks to sponsorship, flower beds and a modern mini-park fence appeared.

The  Mausoleum of Abai or the Memorial Complex of Abai and Shakarim is an architectural monument as part of a complex built at the burial place of Abai Kunanbayev, Shakarim Kudaiberdiev, Abai’s brother Ospan, Akhat (1996). It is located in the Zhidebay  of Abai district ( the East Kazakhstan region) on the territory of the State Historical, Cultural and Literary Memorial Reserve-Museum “Zhidebay-Borili”. Architects are B. Ibraev, S. Agytayev, L. Karpykov, designer – T. Erzhigitov, artist – K. Altynbekov.

The mausoleum of Abai is built on a mountain. The platform, 200 meters long, 65 meters wide and 5 meters high, combines two burials – Abai and Shakarim,  the distance between the two burials is 140 meters. Abai’s brother Ospan is buried with Abai. The graves of mother Ulzhan (1810–1887) and grandmother Zere (1785–1873) are near the Abai’s grave. According the Kazakh mythology, this platform is divided in height into three tiers, correlated with three levels: black (underground world of the dead), red (world of the living), white (heavenly world of spirits and Allah).

The mausoleums are tower-shaped. The height of the tower of Abai is 32.5 meters, and the tower of Shakarim is 31.5 meters. The general composition is completed by four corner towers, the function of which is the ability to hold the Kazakh ritual of health and good luck of great Aruah spirits. The ceremony is designed for spending the night in a special room of the towers, read prayers and perform rituals.

In the Abai’s  homeland, a monuments to Abai was also erected at the entrance to the Abai museum in the village of Zhidebay and on the central square, opposite the akimat building in the village of Karaul. Monument to Abai was opened within the framework of  the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Abai district and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Shakarim Kudaiberdyuly. The bronze figure of 8 meters of height is the idea of the young sculptor Nurbol Kaliyev.

The author worked on this composition for six months. The author wanted to show Abai as a bright and unique personality. Within the framework of  the “Rukhani Zhagyru” in the village of Samar, East Kazakhstan region, a seven-meter monument to Abai was opened to the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbaev.The author of the composition was the famous regional sculptor Alibek Shokanov. The author showed Abai thinking about the future of his people and his character, pensive look, mood.

In Ust-Kamenogorsk, the monument to Abai was opened on August 29, 2009 on Republic Square. The height of the monument depicting Abai in full growth is 5 meters 40 cm. The steps and pedestal are 7 meters 80 cm. The total height of the monument was 13 meters 20 cm. The weight of the bronze figure is 5 tons. The sculpture of Abai was made by the regional organization of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan  of Karaganda. The authors are sculptors Esken Sergebaev and Bakizhan Abishev.

One of the first monuments to Abai Kunanbayev was installed in Almaty in 1960. Bronze sculpture was made by Khakimzhan Nauryzbaev. The design of the red granite pedestal belongs to the architect I.I. Belotserkovsky. The total height of the monument is 13.7 m. The figure of Abai is in motion.

In the capital of our country, Nur-Sultan, two monuments to Abai were erected. The first of them was opened on June 10, 2000. Three footsteps which embodied the piece of the steppe road lead to the pedestal. The figure of Abai -a figure of the lonely stranger on it expresses  the profound dreaminess and concentration.On June 19, 2010, the second monument to Abai was opened in the old part of the city. This sculpture depicts middle-aged Abai. According to the author, he “tried to present Abai, in his creative interpretation, as thoughtful, is lost in thought.”

The bronze monument to Abai Kunanbayev is in Karaganda. The total height is 9.9 meters, the sculpture is 5 m. The author of the monument is sculptor Askar Nartov. The monument is cast in the Karaganda regional organization of the Union of Artists of Kazakhstan of the art and production factory.

Abai was the first among the Kazakhs who introduced and forever related his people with Pushkin.Pushkin is the largest and brightest creative person for Abai. Pushkin and Abai are a phenomenal example of the spiritual kinship of two prominent personalities. These two great names are our property. They lived in different eras, and, of course, never met. But the unique harmony of their poetry, expressing the integrity of the world and man,their spiritual kinship is obvious. Abai Kunanbayev translated many Pushkin works into his native language. Thanks to him, the  Kazakh steppe sang the famous letter of Tatyana to Onegin as a folk song.

The monument to Abai and Pushkin is installed in the center of Petropavlovsk. The monument was opened on Independence Day of Kazakhstan. Authors of the monument are sculptor Kazbek Satybaldin, architects Sultan Baimaganbetov and Valery Zatay, who won special competition. The monument was erected on the main street of Petropavlovsk, which goes to the central park of culture and recreation. The sculptural composition consists of classic figures united by the tree of life. They are made from bronze at one of the factories in Almaty and mounted on a powerful granite pedestal. The total height of the monument is about seven and a half meters. The sculptural composition “Abai – Pushkin” symbolizes the eternal friendship between the  Russia and Kazakhstan people.

Abai’s works and active social activities spread far beyond Kazakhstan. The Abai’s contribution was appreciated in many countries and were erected monuments to him in many countries.

Sculptures of Abai were installed in the center of Moscow, Tashkent (opposite the Embassy of Kazakhstan), Tehran (at the entrance to the National Library), Cairo (in the Park of Freedom and Friendship),Beijing, Budapest, Rennes (France) and others.

The monument to Abai Kunanbayev is a gift from Kazakhstan to Moscow. The decision to install the monument was made by Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin  in during an official visit  of the President of Kazakhstan to Russia in January 2005.

The monument was erected near the Kazakh Embassy in Chistoprudny Boulevard in 2006. The bronze monument was made by the Russian-Kazakh group of authors: sculptors: Marat Ainekov (known as the creator of the sketches of the Kazakhstani national currency tenge), Said Ainekov, architects: Valery Romanenko, Timur Suleimenov, designers: Sairan Fazylov, Igor Polyakov. The composition of the monument includes Abai’s figure and two stone  statues  created in the style of the Polovtsian idols.

In Rennes (France), which is the twin city of Almaty, a bust of Abai is installed in a park called “Almaty”. The installation of the sculpture is an important milestone in strengthening friendly ties not only between the two cities, but also between the two countries.

In the year of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence in Cairo (Egypt), a monument to the poet was installed, demonstrating  a long friendship between the two countries. The vice-governor of Cairo Mohammed Ayman noted that “the monument to Abai in the center of the capital of Egypt is a great event embodying the spiritual and cultural proximity between the Kazakh and Egyptian peoples. The monument was established for the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan and financial support at of the Egyptian philanthropist, a member of the Association of Kazakh-Egyptian friendship Hussein Al-Shafi. The author of the monument is the famous Egyptian sculptor Osama Al-Serui, whose works are installed not only in Cairo, but also in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Tashkent.


Used literature

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