Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

AU unveils new bust of Leo Tolstoy on campus

AU unveils new bust of Leo Tolstoy on campus
A new bust of author Leo Tolstoy, sculpted by Gregory Pototsky, now sits between Batelle-Tompkins and Kogod.

Correction appended

A bronze bust of author Leo Tolstoy now lives on the AU campus.

The statue, donated by its sculptor, Gregory Pototsky, stands in the pathway between Battelle-Tompkins Building and the Kogod School of Business. The Initiative for Russian Culture inspired Pototsky to donate the sculpture after a visiting him in Moscow, according to Anton Fedyashin, the executive director of the IRC.

The IRC, based at AU, aims to strengthen understanding and appreciation of Russian culture and history with students across D.C.

“[The statue of] Tolstoy celebrates [the] massive contributions of Russian culture [to the world],” Fedyashin said during his introduction.

Many students and Russian dignitaries attended the event, including Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Professor Vladimir Tolstoy, a descendant of Leo Tolstoy.

“I am glad students going to classes and back will see him…they deserve to remember there are great thinkers,” Kislyak said, just before Potosky unveiled the bust.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Peter Starr closed the event by declaring a new tradition on campus: “From now on, good luck on exams is touching Tolstoy’s nose."

Correction: This article previously misidentified Kislyak as "Kislayak." It also incorrectly stated that the IRC "funded" the sculpture. Instead, it facilitated Pototsky's donation of the statue to the University. It also falsely identified Vladimir Tolstoy as a count and as Leo Tolstoy's " direct" descendant who runs Leo Tolstoy's estate. Instead, he is a retired professor of the Naval Academy who is a lateral descendant of Leo Tolstoy.

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