Gazprom to take part in Grigory Shelikhov monument restoration in Irkutsk


Gazprom will take part in restoration of a historical monument to a Russian discoverer and navigator Grigory Shelikhov in Irkutsk.

Grigory Shelikhov was born in Rylsk of the Kursk Province in 1747. When Grigory was 25 he moved to Kursk and later on in 1773 to the capital of Siberia – Irkutsk. In 1783 Grigory Shelikhov led the expedition of three galliots: Simeon and Anna, Three Holly Hierarchs and Saint Michael to the coast of America. In 1788 Grigory Shelikhov was awarded a gold medal with Saint Andrew’s ribbon, a court sword and a credential (for the zeal… in exploring the unknown lands and peoples…) that allowed him to continue the undertaking he had initiated.

From 1794 through 1795 he made three more expeditions to set up and fortify the settlements in the Bering Sea islands and on the north coast of Alaska being absolutely unexplored at that time.

The main merit of Grigory Shelikhov is that he practically joined the Aleutian Islands and the entire Alaska to the Russian domain. It was Shelikhov’s initiative to settle Russian population in the islands of the Kuril Archipelago in order to create a strategic outpost in the Far East of Russia. Moreover, Grigory Shelikhov was an author of numerous projects. One of these projects was to prospect for a new Baikal-Amur trade and transport route coinciding with the Baikal-Amur mainline in fact.

On July 20, 1795 Grigory Shelikhov suddenly died at the age of 48 in Irkutsk and was buried in the Znamensky Convent.

In 1800 Grigory Shelikhov’s wife had a monument installed at his grave. The monument is five meters high and is made of the Urals marble in the form of an obelisk on a three-stepped pedestal. The monument is decorated with the bas-relief of Grigory Shelikhov surrounded with images of maps, a compass, bales with goods, a court sword and a handwritten scroll.

The monument was mounted 210 years ago and it has not been restored ever since.

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