Omar Eldarov: “I wanted to create a monument to Albert Agarunov both for his sake and for the sake of my boys”
A monument to the National Hero of Azerbaijan, tanker Albert Agarunov was erected in Baku. When the war in Karabakh started, the hero volunteered for the front and died in 1992 on the outskirts of Shusha. The monument to the hero was sculpted by the students of the famous sculptor of monuments, rector of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts Omar Eldarov. The sculptor told Vestnik Kavkaza about the creation of the monument.
- How did you come up with an idea to create a monument to Albert Agarunov?
- I got an idea to create the monument, but my students, tutors of the Academy of Arts sculpted it. I was approached by the chairman of the Society of Tank Veterans, [commander of the Agarunov tank battalion] Haji Azimov asked me to help with the creation of Albert Agarunov’s bust. He showed me his photos. I examined them and said that doing just a protocol bust would be, as they say, for show. We need a monument that would become some kind of an event in the city, something spectacular. I immediately got the idea to make a sculpture of a soldier crawling out of a tank tower. (On May 8, 1992, Albert Agarunov, having destroyed two enemy tanks, gave the command to change position, and at that moment he noticed the bodies of the dead soldiers in front of the fighting vehicle. He got out of the tank to pick up the bodies from the battlefield, and was hit by a sniper bullet, ed). I told Haji Azimov that we would attract talented young sculptors. Unfortunately, they are not in great demand, and one of my goals is to show that we have young people whose art can be used for the benefit of the people.
- Did they work for free?
- Pro bono, but with pleasure, because for every sculptor it is a great honor to create a monumental sculpture for the city. They made sketches, I chose one of them and corrected a little.
- How long did they work on the monument?
- Not long. I asked the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Yagub Eyyubov, for financial assistance to buy materials, and everything else was done by sculptors Ragib Garayev and Zamik Rzayev. They worked in my workshop. First, they made a model of clay, I gave some advice, and then the monument was created. The guys themselves collected it, dragged stones, made a reinforcement. It is kind of a feat too. We have creative young forces, but we need to organize their employment, supply them with orders. I wanted to make this monument both for the sake of Albert Agarunov and for the sake of my boys.