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Nizhny Novgorod Pays Tribute to Jules Verne

Jules Verne monument
The statue to Jules Verne (Vkontakte)

Last weekend the city of Nizhny Novgorod unveiled Russia's first sculpture dedicated to the legendary author Jules Verne. The monument, the sixth largest in the world now, is reminiscent of Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days," a human-lifelike scaled depiction of Verne in the quintessential hot air balloon.  

The figure, with telescope in hand, appears ready to take off in the balloon. Sculptor Fanil Valiullin, a native of Kazan, told reporters on Sunday, the monument represents Jules Verne flying into new adventures. According to city officials, the sculpture is meant to be light hearted and fun, provocative for children especially. Not many in Russia realize, Verne wrote nine novels about Russia. One of these, Verne's Michel Strogoff (1876) reveals the hero traveling from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod. The map below illustrates the hero's trip across Siberia. 

Jules Verne - trip across Siberia
An illustration from the novel "Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar" by Jules Verne drawn by Jules Férat.

The bronze-painted plastic sculpture, which stands about 10 meters high, sits on an embankment near the confluence of the Volga and the Oka rivers.