Compatriots urged to keep a monument to the Russian ruler of Alaska

The coordination Council of Russian compatriots of the USA (CARS) made an online petition against plans to demolish the monument to ruler of the Russian settlements in North America in the late XVIII - early XIX centuries, Alexander Baranov.

As noted in the petition, posted on the website XORS, a group of residents of the city of Sitka (Alaska) has proposed to remove from the center of the city the statue of Alexander Baranov (1747-1819).

"We believe that the demolition of the statue is this Erasure of Russian historical heritage", the authors write.

The text recalls that Sitka was capital of Russian America, Alexander Baranov was the first Russian Governor of Alaska. "The statue is an important reminder of the history of intercultural interaction and diplomacy," the petition reads.

The monument to Alexander Baranov is located in the centre of Sitka. Until 1867 the city was called new Archangel and was the capital of the territories the Russian-American company. Baranov founded the town of Sitka, located on the island, now called Baranov island, the authors.

The statue of the sculptor Joan Bagby-Jackson was donated to the municipality in 1989 one of the local influential American families Haimes and was installed in the Park opposite the city centre, according to the text.

"Under the leadership of Baranova has built more than 200 settlements, some of which still exist. Novo-Arkhangelsk was founded as the capital of Russian America. With the assistance of Alexander Baranov in Alaska developed culture, religion, industrial and handicraft production. Were opened in public libraries, schools and hospitals as well as sanatoriums and nursing homes," write the authors.

"During the reign of Baranova has built more than 60 Church buildings to the Russian Orthodox Church, including Seminary. Some of these churches have been preserved and continue to operate. Were opened high-tech (for its time) shipyard and agricultural production, brick and iron foundries. Manufactured modular wooden houses for transportation to the South in San Francisco, California," - noted the drafters of the petition.

The petition was signed by 547 people.