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The Petrovsky Fountain near the Bolshoi Theater was erected in 1835 by the sculptor Giovanni Vitali. It is recognized as a federal cultural heritage site.

The Petrovsky Fountain on Teatralnaya Square has been included in the plan for the preservation of cultural heritage sites of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage. Now the historical building is waiting for restoration.

This is one of the five water-folding fountains, built in 1826-1835 during the reconstruction of the Mytishchi water pipeline. It is called Petrovsky (Petrovskaya Square is the former name of Teatralnaya Square), or Vitali’s fountain (by the name of the sculptor). The construction is considered one of the oldest fountains in Moscow.

Initially, such fountains had an exclusively utilitarian function – water was drawn from them. They were a pool or bowl with a pipe in the center, where water came from an underground water supply network.

In 1828 it was decided to decorate the water intake fountains artistically. For this, the sculptor Giovanni (Ivan) Vitali was invited. The architectural and artistic design of the fountains was completed in 1835. The Petrovsky Fountain, among other things, acquired its stately appearance.

“The main bowl was placed on a pedestal, and the upper bowl was placed on a column supported by four bronze cupids. These figurines represent all facets of theatrical art: tragedy, comedy, poetry and music. It is noteworthy that they were cast at one of the Moscow bell factories. Thus, the fountain has become an additional decoration of the territory of the Bolshoi Theater. However, having acquired the decoration, it has not lost its functionality. Remained convenient for water intake. In addition, drainage systems were made from it through pipes to the nearest buildings. Every day, the fountain supplied the residents of the capital with about 17 thousand buckets of water, ”said the head

Department of cultural heritage of the city of Moscow Alexey Emelyanov

On three sides, the pedestal has arched niches, one of which is the entrance to the technical room, and in the western and eastern parts of the fountain there are semicircular metal bowls-consoles with mascarons-water cannons (the water in them comes from the main bowl of the fountain). In the northern part of the pedestal, there are two symmetrical stone stairs leading to the upper bypass platform with a metal fence decorated with a geometric pattern.

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, the fountain was no longer used as a city water supply. A public garden was laid out around it.

The fountain on Teatralnaya Square is a federal cultural heritage site. The last time a complex restoration of the building was carried out in 1995.

According to Alexei Yemelyanov, today the fountain is in an unsatisfactory condition. Cast iron elements have corroded, on bronze ones – there are streaks of copper salts, the surfaces are dirty.

“That is why it was decided to include the fountain in the plan for the preservation of cultural heritage sites. The development of the restoration project is scheduled for 2022, ”the head of the department said.

The restoration and preservation of monuments is one of the most important tasks of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage. Over the past eight years, about 1,500 cultural heritage sites have been restored in the city, of which more than 100 – in 2020. As a result of the unprecedented scale of the program, the number of Moscow monuments in an unsatisfactory condition has decreased by 5.3 times.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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