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Park of iron sculptures in the city of Donetsk
There are many kinds of parks that one can find in Ukraine. There are parks with extensive woods, rectilinear alleys, stretching between vantage points, galleries, statues and gazebos; there are parks devoted simply to green landscape, a salubrious and attractive breathing space as a relief from the densely populated and industrialized city. There are parks with a romantic design. But no matter what kind of park it is, its primary purpose is to provide for passive or active recreation.
The facilities in parks may include outdoor theatres, zoos, concert halls, historical exhibits, concessions for dining and dancing, amusement areas, boating, and areas for sports of all kinds.
Among all these parks there is one that stands out Ч it is a park devoted to handcrafted wrought-iron works. In fact, there is no other similar park in the world.
This park was laid out in 2001 in the city of Donetsk, Ukraine. The initiator was Viktor Burduk, director of the Ukrainian Handcrafted Wrought Iron and Forge Company Hefest. The City Council supported the idea, provided the necessary means and workforce and the park came into existence. Mr Burduk provided handcrafted wrought-iron works to be installed in the park.
The first such work was a wrought iron bouquet of roses. Incidentally, the rose is a symbol of Donetsk. Ten more wrought iron sculptures were added soon after. Festivals, Roses of Donetsk, began to be held in the park and within the framework of the festival forging and handcrafting iron shows were held.
In 2004, the participation in the wrought iron festival grew considerably and included wrought iron craftsmen and artists from other parts of Ukraine. Consequently, the number of wrought iron works in the park increased and the works were assembled in thematic alleys. The first of such alleys was the one devoted to The Signs of Zodiac. The Alley of Fairy Tales followed, with 12 wrought iron sculptures representing characters from various fairy tales. These sculptures were handcrafted by wrought-iron artists who live in seven different parts of Ukraine. The most recently created thematic alley was The Alley of Arks laid out in September 2007. It has 10 decorative arks with benches underneath them, all made of wrought iron.
Altogether there are 55 wrought-iron works to be seen in the park. The wrought-iron festival has gone international Ч smiths and wrought iron artists from Russia and Holland took part in the latest festival. There is even a contest organized within the framework of the festival with prizes handed out to the winners. Master classes have become a feature of the festival, too.
Ihor Rudenko, one of the organizers of the festival and editor-in-chief of the Zhurnal o metale, Journal of Metal, is a great handcrafted wrought-iron enthusiast and believes in the future of the wrought-iron handicraft and art in Ukraine. He says that wrought-iron festivals are a great encouragement for the development of wrought-iron handicrafts and an excellent opportunity for wrought-iron artists and smiths to get together, socialize and share experiences.
Berehynya (Protectress) by Svyatoslav
Golden Fish by Dmytro Sytdykov
Lisnychok (Wood Goblin) by a team
Kolobok by Yuliya and Volodymyr
Philosophy by Viktor Burduk from Donetsk.
Dragon Arch by Kryshtaleva
Scorpion by Viktor Burduk from Donetsk.
Cossack by Viktor Stefanov from Kherson.