Foundation Stone – What is it?

68

I first came across this about in mid 2012 and despite examining it closely I had no idea what it was. All I could tell from it was that three people including King (that was his first name not his title) O’Malley and two others had laid a stone on 12 March 1913 and the whole thing had been moved to its current location on 12 March 1988 (to make way for the construction of Parliament House). I took the attached photo (the first one!) and carried on about my business. Continue reading “Foundation Stone – What is it?”

Eternal Life Monument

25

Following the death of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, in 1994 and his subsequent elevation to the role of Eternal President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea his son and successor, Kim Jong-il decreed that eternal life monuments (Yeong Saeng) be erected throughout North Korea. These monuments, found in all cities and towns, are thought to number around 3,000 thousand and had the single purpose of reminding the people that Kim Il-sung is with them for ever. When built they were typically inscribed with the words, “Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung is with us for eternity”. Continue reading “Eternal Life Monument”

1905 – Bloody Sunday Monument

96

On Sunday, 9th January 1905 (Bloody Sunday) hundreds of workers protesting against oppressive labour practices and seeking improved living conditions were killed by the Tsar’s guard in St Petersburg. This heavy handed response by Tsar Nicholas II set off the failed 1905 Revolution. Some say it also spurred on the successful 1917 Revolution, which saw the Bolsheviks seizing power from the Tsar and the creation of the communist Soviet Union. Continue reading “1905 – Bloody Sunday Monument”

Latvian Riflemen Monument

91

Ever since my first (and indeed only) visit to the former Soviet Union about 30 years ago I have had a fascination and liking for the brutalist style monuments and sculptures found there and in other countries of generally socialist leaning. Sadly – with one significant exception, that being North Korea – this style of art is no longer produced, and that which was produced is often decaying, has been moved to monument graveyards or has be deliberately destroyed because of the political nature there-of. My liking for the art form is purely related to its grand and bold scale, its gravitas as it were, rather than the brash and perfunctory political statements it so often makes. Continue reading “Latvian Riflemen Monument”

Kim Il-sung Watching from on High

861
Kim Il-sung from the Folk Custom Hotel

No city in North Korea is complete without its bronze statue of the Great Leader, Kim Il-Sung, placed on the top of a hill for everybody to see. So naturally there is one here in Kaesong, on Mount Janam at the end of the grand boulevard that is Tongil Street. Kim Il-sung did not share the same modesty of his son who banned statues, etc of him being erected while he was alive. This statue of Kim Il-sung was erected in 1968. Continue reading “Kim Il-sung Watching from on High”