The monument to Alexander II is composed as a pyramid crowned by a bronze equestrian statue of the Russian emperor. Engraved on the front part of the pedestal are the words ‘To the Tsar-Liberator from a grateful Bulgaria’.
The initiative to erect the monument came from Bulgarian politician and public activist Stoyan Zaimov, and the monument was built mainly using public donations.
At the Military History Museum, Mr Putin and Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov visited a commemorative exhibition, ‘Soldiers of Freedom’, marking the 130th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman yoke.
Displayed at the exhibition are more than 300 unique objects from the war of liberation period. The museum staff showed the two presidents objects related to the most dramatic events in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877–1888: the uniforms of Russian soldiers and officers and Bulgarian home guards, weapons and decorations of the countries that took part in the war, and many works of art commemorating the War of Liberation.
After visiting the exhibition the two leaders signed the guests’ book. “I am grateful to the custodians of our common historical memory, to all of the museum staff, who have organised these exhibitions that bear witness to the spiritual traditions, blood ties and kindred feelings shared by the Bulgarian and Russian peoples”, Mr Putin wrote in the book.