Sheremetyevo International Airport marked the official change of its name to “Alexander Pushkin” by unveiling a monument of the great Russian poet, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported.
“We are glad that we were the first to start implementing the project of assigning the names of our great compatriots to Russian airports,” Mikhail Vasilenko, General Director of Sheremetyevo, said at the opening ceremony.
The project, called the “Great Names of Russia”, was launched in October last year, as a joint effort by a consortium of state-connected organizations, including the Public Chamber, the Russian Geographical Society, and the Russian Military-Historical Society. Organizers said the goal is to promote national unity and patriotism.
Six million Russians took part in the competitive voting and chose to rename Moscow’s gateway international airport after the beloved 19th-century poet Alexander Pushkin.
On May 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on assigning the new names to 44 airports across the country. Five days later, a visual embodiment of the Russian poet now appears in Sheremetyevo.
“Welcome to Alexander Pushkin’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. The presidential decree on assigning the names of our distinguished compatriots is a worthy end to the competition,” Russian Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, said at the ceremony.
Sheremetyevo’s staff managed to unveil the monument just in time for the 220th anniversary of the poet’s birth, celebrated on June 6. The author of the sculpture is Alexander Burganov, a national artist of Russia.