Though composition "Fountain of Flying up Stones" was installed and inaugurated at the turn of 2019 year, it is older than the equestrian statue of emperor Alexander III in the courtyard of Marble Palace in Saint Petersburg. The composition is designed by the Russian sculptor Dmitry Kaminker.
During the Second World War some urban sculptures were removed from their pedestals and buried to protect them from enemy shellings and bombings. The most famous ones are Horse Tamers on the Anichkov bridge, they were buried in the nearby Anichkov Palace garden in 1941.
After the Second World War citizens begun to dig up such sculptures. Occasionally in different parts of the city there were found 16 separate fragments carved out of Pudost stone - piece of drapery, piece of leg, sheep's head with beautiful crumpled horns... Probably these artworks were created in XVIII century to decorate facades of buildings, but some time later due to unknown reasons they were placed in the earth and covered with soil, and became peculiar archaeological objects.
Heavy fragments, the weight of each one reached 1 ton, were subject to disposal. But Tatyana Borisovna Manturova, then a young employee of the State Russian Museum, and later the head of the department of Soviet sculpture, demanded that these fragments be kept in the courtyard of the Benois Wing. For many years, sculptural fragments coexisted with
equestrian monument to Alexander III, who was here in exile. In 1994 the monumental work of Paolo Trubetskoy moved to the courtyard of the Marble Palace, where a branch of the State Russian Museum was opened. What to do with the stones has not been decided. The stones were not registered in the museum, not on regular inventory. Dmitry Kaminker knew about the existence of the fragments, he had the idea to use this “archeology” to decorate the inclined passage of the Admiralteiskaya metro station, as an immersion into urban archeology. But these plans were not destined to come true.
A few years ago, the Academic Council of the State Russian Museum, on the initiative of its employees Alyona Vasilevksaya and Alexander Borovsky decided to give fragments to Kaminker so that he can think of a worthy use for them.