Is Freedom Freedom?
The Polish community of Lviv managed to open a bank called the Galician Savings Bank. Its name in Polish has now been restored and is clearly visible under the dome. And the name is encrypted in the frame of the balcony, consisting of repeating the letters GKO.
The bank building, built in the Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque style, is very impressive and lavishly decorated, including sculpture. Under the dome we see a sculpture of a woman who resembles the American Statue of Liberty, only much smaller, and most importantly – seated. They say that this is the only seated Freedom in the World. Like the American statue, it has rays around its head and holds a torch. Well, who would after that doubt that it was an approximate copy of Freedom. Adds confidence in the name of the street on which it sits – Svobody Avenue. However, officially the statue has a different name – Savings. But few people know about it.
The Lviv Statue of Liberty (we will call it that according to folk tradition) is not alone, as in New York. Two men are sitting next to her. They symbolize agriculture (agriculture) and industry. The whole group symbolizes that the money earned in those areas is wise to save for the further development of these main areas of the region’s economy. We think Thrift does not accidentally resemble Freedom. After all, in order to be able to save, you need to have freedom of action. Yes, it is not so much a mistake to give Savings and a middle name – Freedom. And in the foyer you are greeted by a statue of Fortune, prompting entrepreneurs, … successfully use trem’s savings to have the favor of Fate.
“Father” of Freedom
Both sculptures and Freedom and Fortune were created by the Lviv sculptor Leonard Marconi. And although Leonardo was born already in Warsaw, he improved his skills in his father’s homeland, in Italy. His sculptures adorn many Lviv buildings in the city center, in particular:
- Lviv Polytechnic;
- former Regional Court on Prince Roman Street;
- directorate of railways on the street. Sich Riflemen, where is his legendary work Mercury;
- Hotel Georges, on the four corners of which there are sculptures-symbols of Asia, Europe, America and Africa;
- National Museum near the ave. Freedom;
- Transfiguration Church on the street. Krakowska.
What happened before Freedom
On the site of the bank was one of the first, if not the first hotel in Lviv, called “Under the Roman Caesar”. He was no less imposing than the cashier of thrift. It was somewhat rebuilt and renamed the hotel “English”.
During the Soviet era, a tragedy occurred, about which the then press kept silent. In those days, they rarely wrote about tragedies. 1981 a hand broke off from our Liberty and killed the lady passing through this crowded main street. For almost 15 years, Freedom had to be armless. In the end, her annealed hand was attached, but she was distinguished by a lighter color and somewhat unnatural proportions. For 2017, the sculpted group was restored. The hand was reworked, and just in case, fixed with a cable to the dome. During the restoration, it was discovered that the rays of Liberty originally had gilding, and its restorers restored at their own expense because this was not part of the planned estimate of restoration work.
Perhaps many Lviv residents remember how at the end of the last century there was an electronic countdown clock under this sculptural group. He counted seconds to the new millennium. In addition, in such an original way (agree, as for 1999, it was unusual), the trademark that sponsored the chronometer advertised itself and added its symbolism to it.