Thursday, June 5, 2014

Trivia Thursday

As most Byters will know, I am a member of a Trivia team, Lazarus, that plays on Wednesday nights.

For a little while (some input please on whether people like the idea) I will present one interesting question and answer, with additional information, from the Wednesday night quiz. . . Trivia Thursday.

Last night’s question:

Name the landmark plus the country and the city in which it is located.


The Motherland Calls
Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad)

More information:

The statute commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare and arguably the most strategically decisive battle of World War 2. Total casualties (killed and wounded) were close to 2 million.

In 1967, when the statue was dedicated, it was the highest in the world. With its raised sword in one hand and other hand summoning people to follow, it is a complex engineering construction that made it more difficult to build than others of similar size.

The statue measures 7 metres (279 feet) from the tip of its sword to the top of the plinth. The figure measures 52 metres (170 feet), and the sword 33 metres (108 feet). Two hundred steps, symbolizing the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad, lead from the bottom of the hill to the monument. 

Marshall of the Soviet Union Vasily Chuikov is buried in the area of the monument, as is famous Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev, who killed 225 Axis soldiers in the battle of Stalingrad. Zaytsev’s story was told in the Jude law pic Enemy at the Gates

The statue is claimed to be leaning due to changes in groundwater level causing movement of the foundations. The lean is rapidly getting worse. The statue is not fixed to its foundations and is held in place only by its weight. It has shifted 20 centimetres and is not expected to be able to move much farther without collapsing. While local authorities deny that the statue is in danger, conservation and restoration work started in 2010. 

According to sculptor and restorer Vadim Tserkovnikov: “The defensive concrete layer of The Motherland Calls is almost destroyed. and if you could only see how patched-up the surface is: chunks have fallen off, and they’ve only plastered over [the holes] with mortar.”

The statue’s decline is being accelerated by Volgograd’s harsh winter climate, and the relatively rapid weathering of the concrete that was used in its construction. The main problem, however, is the inadequate foundations that cause the statue to sway from side to side. According to Tserkovnikov: “How was it possible to place such a large structure, with a weight of about 8,000 tons, on foundations of a solid layer of clay?”

To get an idea of the scale of the statue, compare the size of the people at the base:

Some more pics:

and a final bit of information:

The Statue of Unity proposed to be constructed in India, at 182 metres (597 feet) will be the world's largest and tallest statue.  It will face the Narmada Sam in Gujarat State and will be located on a river island which will be connected to the mainland by a bridge.  Construction began in January this year and is expected to take just under 5 years to complete.

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  1. I thought your trivia group was calle "4Q" I still have the hat!

  2. We were 4Q, then disbanded for a while and got back together, renaming ourselves Pizzle (a term meaning a bull's penis), then disbanded again when the Trivia was relocated to a part of the Club that was licensed for service of alcohol, which meant the under 18's couldn't take part. We got together again some time after that and called ourselves Lazarus because of the comeback. :-) You have a good memory Ellie.


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