Zaporizhstal disagrees with Culture Ministry claims about steel quality for iconic Kyiv monument

28 July, 05:41 PM
Motherland monument looks like and will look (Photo:Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine)

Motherland monument looks like and will look (Photo:Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine)

Zaporizhstal, the Zaporizhzhya Metallurgical Plant, has refuted claims made by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy regarding the quality of steel provided for crafting the trident for the Motherland monument in Kyiv, in a press statement issued on July 28.

“We are confident that the steel produced at Zaporizhstal is suitable for manufacturing the trident,” the company said.

“The plant disagrees with the conclusions of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy and the cited inspection report. We deem these allegations to be biased and unfounded and will defend the honor of the Ukrainian manufacturer and Ukrainian steel.”

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The plant stated its commitment to continue fulfilling all obligations as a partner in creating the new trident. They emphasized that in response to a request from the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, they provided all the steel for the emblem’s production free of charge and have already paid for the development of the replacement project for the Soviet-era emblem.

The Motherland Monument was erected in 1981 and is considered the tallest monumental sculpture in Europe. It depicts a woman standing with sword and shield raised on the banks of the Dnipro. Until 2023, the Soviet hammer-and-sickle emblem decorated the shield.

On July 21, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, voted in favor of replacing the Soviet-era decoration with the Coat of Arms of Ukraine – a trident.

On May 3, 2023, the parliament passed a law permitting the removal of Soviet and imperial cultural monuments. On July 13, the State Inspection of Architecture and Urban Planning granted permission to replace the emblem on the monument’s shield with the trident.

The first batch of steel for this project was delivered by Zaporizhstal on June 29, with any minor thickness deviations being within acceptable error margins, the company claimed, adding that no complaints were received about the quality or specifications of their steel but that they were willing to undergo an independent examination if required.

“We believe that such grand symbols should utilize steel produced by Ukrainian plants as a symbol of resistance to aggression,” Zaporizhstal said in their statement.

On July 25, the Culture Ministry stated that the trident for the Motherland monument would be made from European metal, citing alleged non-compliance of Zaporizhstal’s steel with the technical requirements. Although builders identified defects in their report, they insisted that the replacement would not affect the project’s budget, and the cost of the metal would remain unchanged at 400 thousand hryvnias ($10,845). The entire project is estimated to cost 28 million hryvnias ($759,200).

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