A history of three monuments

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a statue on Diko Iliev Square, in downtown  Oryakhovo, commemorates the Romanian soldiers who perished in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War. The Old Vidin website recounts the story that shortly after the end of the war, the Bulgarian government agreed with Romania to build three monuments, one each in Smerdan, Vidin and Oryakhovo, as well as a memorial in Grivitsa, Pleven.

A history of three monuments

a statue on Diko Iliev Square, in downtown  Oryakhovo, commemorates the Romanian soldiers who perished in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War. The Old Vidin website recounts the story that shortly after the end of the war, the Bulgarian government agreed with Romania to build three monuments, one each in Smerdan, Vidin and Oryakhovo, as well as a memorial in Grivitsa, Pleven. Romania would foot the bill, but due to limited resources two of the statues were the same – a victory-symbolizing female figure holding up a torch and a sword. The Smerdan statue, along with other Romanian monuments, was demolished after the annexation of South Dobrudja by Romania following the 1913 Second Balkan War.

But Oryakhovo held onto its Romanian statue: the local military did not obey the demolition order, took down the bronze figure and buried it down the barracks yard. It lay there for more than forty years to be unearthed during construction works. They moved it to its old spot in Oryakhovo's outskirts, and in 1997 was relocated to the town's central square. The statue's authorship remains an open question. The prevailing opinion is it was made by Arnaldo Zòcchi who also authored the statue of victory in Rousse. The two are pretty much alike when seen close-up. But Old Vidin's exploration of the archives suggests otherwise: Zòcchi's name was nowhere to be found, and Romanian sources cite Karl Stork as author. War trophies, e.g. captured Turkish cannons, were used for the statues, with the casting being done in Vienna.