Odesa guidebook: Must-see places #10 Monument to Leonid Utyosov

Walking through the City Garden of Odesa on Deribasovskaya Street, you will surely notice from afar the sculptural figure of a man sitting imposingly on an openwork bench. This is another of the sights of the city that traditionally appeared here on the birthday of Odesa, September 2, 2000.

Who is Leonid Utyosov?

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Leonid Utyosov is a Soviet-era pop artist - singer, reader, head of a jazz orchestra, film actor. He was born on March 21, 1895, although he celebrated this day all his life on the 22nd. And he died on March 9, 1982, in Moscow. But Leonid Osipovich Utyosov was a citizen of Odesa and loved his hometown very much until death.

Leonid Utyosov in the film "Funny Guys" (1934). Photo Source - Wikipedia

Utyosov is considered the founder of such a musical direction in the USSR as jazz. At the beginning of the last century, he organized his own ensemble performing this music. In addition to jazz, he also performed songs in various genres - from comic couplets and urban romance to Russified foreign hits and Soviet lyric and mass songs.

His legacy includes several films with his participation and many songs on which more than one generation of citizens of the former Soviet Union grew up.

One of his famous and numerous songs "By the Black Sea" is the unofficial anthem of the city. This explains why today the song sounds every day on Dumskaya Square at 17:00, and also meets and sees off tourists and residents of the city at the railway station.

He lived in Triangle Lane from 1898 to 1912. Here he studied music, performed at the Richelieu Theater, delighted the audience with his voice, dances and humour. In memory of Utyosov in Odesa, the former Triangular Lane is today called “Leonid Utyosov Lane”. And on house number 11, where he was born, there is a memorial plaque.

Photo Source - Wikipedia

Odesans erected a monument to their beloved fellow countryman Leonid Utyosov in the famous City Garden. The artist is depicted sitting on a bench. The sculpture does not have a pedestal, so everyone can sit on a bench next to Utyosov, which many people use. There is also a sign if you rub Utyosov nose or hands, then you will surely have good luck.

What is the history of sculpture?

A monument to Leonid Utyosov was unveiled on September 2, 2000, to celebrate the city's 206th anniversary. The author of the sculpture was Alexander Tokarev. The artist introduced the artist during a vacation on his favourite Deribasovskaya, he seems to be slowly watching the people of Odesa.

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Initially, in the composition of the monument, except for Utyosov, there was a music booth with the artist's songs on the bench, but the mechanism was broken and dismantled by vandals. In recent years, the booth has been removed from the sculpture, leaving only a plaque reminiscent of it.

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However, not all is lost. Later, a jukebox was installed in front of the monument, which accepts orders to perform Utyosov's songs, which I described in one of the following posts.

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Where can you see the sculpture?

The sculpture is located in Odesa, in the city garden on Deribasovskaya Street.
The exact GPS coordinates are 46.484744, 30.734398
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Hiya, @lizanomadsoul here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #1335.

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