“Dostoyevsky’s” new home at the BnD
Russia’s gift to UP Diliman: The bust of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was formally unveiled by Ambassador Nikolai Kudashev of the Russian Federation (left) and UP President Alfredo E. Pascual (right). Standing as witnesses were from left Prof. Jose Danilo A. Silvestre, OICA director and UP Theater Complex OIC, Dr. Felipe M. De Leon Jr., NCCA Chair, artist Gregory Pototsky and Dr. Caesar A. Saloma, UPD Chancellor.
(March 15)--The bust of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky was formally unveiled and turned over to UP Diliman (UPD) in a simple ceremony on March 12, 6 p.m. at the Bulwagan ng Dangal (BnD).
The bust is a creation of Russian sculptor Gregory Pototsky, who is known for his gallery of bronze portraits of outstanding contemporary figures. The bust is made of bronze and has a dimension of 47.5x25.5x29 cm.
At the ceremony, Prof. Jose Danilo A. Silvestre, UPD Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (UPDOICA) director and UP Theater Complex (UPTC) Officer-in-Charge said Pototsky is known for his generous donations of artworks and is not new to the Philippines, having donated eight of his works across the nation.
“Alexander Puschkin, Leo Tolstoy, Jose Rizal, Corazon Aquino, Elpidio Quirino. Perhaps an amusing collection of names, all of them share one thing in common. Gregory Pototsky’s donations of sculptures to the Philippines cover these names. He is not new to the Philippines. His first donation was a sculpture of Alexander Puschkin (2010)…He also created and donated a sculpture of Jose Rizal now in Las Piñas (2010) and of Leo Tolstoy (2010) which is now in Cebu.”
Pototsky is an internationally-renowned artist and member of leading international organizations as International Union of Artists at UNESCO, the International Academy of Informatisation and member-correspondent of the Pedagogical Academy, among others.
Silvestre said Pototsky’s philosophies in life and art are based on the principles of kindness and gratitude, and which, “have governed his generosity and governed the largeness of his heart through his endowment to groups and countries all over the world.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Nikolay Kudashev, Russian Federation Ambassador to the Philippines, said he was pleased that the Dostoyevsky bust has found one more home.
Kudashev believes Dostoyevsky’s philosophy is still very much alive, as “it addresses many threats and challenges of modern times created by progress and globalization; it forms the powerful moral space reflecting existential problems of humankind facing a difficult choice between individualism and dictates of conscience and faith.”
For the Ambassador, UP is Dostoyevsky’s “new home where these problems are understandable and the choice is clear—in favor of humanity in the human being.”
In response, Pototsky said, “You (UP) did not give (Fyodor) Dostoyevsky a house, you gave him a home. Thank you.”
UPD received the bust from the NCCA earlier this year.
Dostoyevsky is a Russian novelist whose works explore the human psychology of the 19th century Russian society. His memorable works include “The Brothers Karamazov,” “Crime and Punishment” and “The Idiot.”
UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said the bust is not simply a representation of a great man but an encapsulation of Dostoyevsky’s life’s work, “the union of the context in which his literature emerged and the context in which it is being read today.”
The President further said Dostoyevsky and UP share the same advocacy of striving for social equality and justice anchored on the values of honor and excellence (and) of service to the country.
“Dostoyevsky’s words continue to resonate within and beyond the walls of the academe… His relevance remains, echoing the same struggles with himself, with the people around him and with global community… Dostoyevsky’s personal struggles allowed him to expose the plight of the often unrecognized sectors of society his focus on the intricacies of their lives brought to light and opened the door to the conveniently unrecognized yet noteworthy social problems. He challenged social stigma by focusing attention on the poor, the oppressed and the imprisoned.”
Organized by OICA, the by-invitation only ceremonies was attended by the Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Tomas Javier Calvillo Unna, the UP System and Diliman officials headed by UPD Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma, members of the UP faculty and staff, members of the OICA Board, art aficionados and members of the press.—MDJ