In Altai, there is a very unusual monument to the gopher. It was opened in the spring of 2017. It is called “Boy with a gopher”, is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War and is located near the village of Bichiktu-Boom in the Ongudai region.
The author of the composition is a young architect Amyr Kydyev, and the monument itself was made in Novosibirsk by local craftsmen. The artist was assisted by Denis Mikhailov and Roman Korobko from Novosibirsk.
The architect created the sculpture with the money of local residents, whose childhood fell on the difficult war years. The sculpture is made of fiberglass, and the top is covered with bronze. He depicted the emaciated figure of a boy holding a gopher in his hands. A national fur coat is draped over one of the boy’s shoulders.
Why is the boy without a face and why does he keep a gopher?
“Himself, their loved ones, those who went to the front and did not return, children and adolescents who had to grow up early and work instead of their grandfathers, fathers, brothers,” says the author himself about his monument.
The monument is a tribute not only to the children of the war, but also to the little gopher animal, which saved many Altai residents from starvation in 1941-1945. Not only in the terrible years of the war, but also after, this steppe animal did not let many Altaians die of starvation.
However, the monument “Boy with a gopher” was perceived ambiguously on the Internet. Many wits did not see the gopher in the sculpture. And some tourists, seeing the monument, get scared.