Memorial to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independencehttp://www.shapedscape.com/media/reviews/photos/original/40/7d/af/memorial-to-the-1956-hungarian-revolution-and-war-of-independence-3-3-42-1412446033.jpg
In 2005 approaching the 50th anniversary of the Revolution and suppressed War of Independence in which Hungarian rebels tried to push Soviet troops out of the country, the Hungarian government launched an international open competition for a new monument to honor the country's victory for freedom. An international jury shortlisted seven proposals and ultimately a national team was declared winner.
The winning proposal for the 'Memorial to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence' designed by Dósa Papp Tamás, Emődi-Kiss Tamás, György Kata, Horváth Csaba of I-Ypszilon depicted a massive ultramodern monument, fact that raised some controversies among both officials and the citizens, which envisioned something 'more appropriate'. However the memorial was built and inaugurated according to the original plans on October 23, 2006.
The monument is located on the site of a former Catholic church - demolished by communist authorities to make way for a statue of dictator Joseph Stalin - is one of several monuments commemorating the revolution, but the only one considered a national site of remembrance by the government.
The wedge-shaped memorial is placed on a semi-circular paved area with a radius of 40 m, at the southern edge of the City Park, appearing to be moving forward breaking through the cubic paving of a rectangular square that was built as an extension to the park 'the Square of Silence'. The scene is reminiscent of the people coming together uniting their strength and marching arm in arm as a powerful community to the sculpture of Jozef Bem at the Polytechnic University, on October 23 1956.
The abstract monument is shaped out of an isosceles triangular block with a leg measuring 35 meters in length, rising from 1.9 meters at the back to 8.7 meters tall at the front of the wedge. The base of the triangle is made of dozens of loosely arranged 23x23 cm corten steel columns that are gradually placed closer together - while the material also changes merging from corten to stainless steel - ultimately forming a solid steel block. The cubic stone is also 23x23 cm allowing the column to seamlessly rise from the paving. Solid black blocks that serve as benches surround the monument on the edge of the semi-circular area.
The materials, the placement and the size are all meant to symbolize that unique moment when the people overcame their fears in order to stand up for the independence of their country and for their own freedom, therefore the rusted columns are almost man-size slowly growing taller, stronger, united like a sharp and bright knife blade ready to break through anything just like they did uniting their forces as a community.
Being able to walk through the columns the monument does not only illustrate these events of bravery but intends to give the spectator an opportunity to imagine themselves living through those events of history, be absorbed in the feeling of remembrance, seek in itself for the courage that led common men to heroism and become a segment of the community, thus remembrance inspired by this active process will have an effect in the present. Freedom shall always be cherished by present and future generations.
A black stone plate displayed aside of the monument, reads the following:
"We shall forever remember those, who fought for freedom in the 1956 Revolution during the repression of subsequent decades, either with arms in hand or with the power of their spirit, to the point of self sacrifice.
It is the intention of the Republic of Hungary that this memorial should symbolize the power of desire to be free and the responsibility towards the community as well as the stability of Hungarian society and national unity - the events of October 23, 1956 and of the revolution took place in the spirit of these values.
Erected in 2006 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence"
Images courtesy of I-Ypszilon. Watermarked photography exclusive to Shapedscape © SB. Words © AW.
We believe the design of this memorial could not have been any 'more appropriate'. The concept and the outcome both as a memorial and public work of art make this project outstanding. What are you thoughts? Comment is free..
City Park 'Városliget', Pest, Budapest