Monument to I.Franko

The first monument to the prominent Ukrainian writer and politician Ivan Franko in the southern Ukraine was opened in Odessa in 2006. The opening ceremony was initiated by the Department of culture of the regional state administration and Odessa Executive Committee.

The Department of culture and tourism of regional state administration held a contest for the best project of the monument. The proposal of the sculptor Boris Rumyantsev and architect N. Rumyantsev was recognized as the best.

Ivan Franko was the most outstanding poet of his time. He was born on the 27lh of August 1856 in Drohobych county, Galicia. He was a son of the village blacksmith. In 1875 he graduated from gymnasium and started studying classical philology, Ukrainian language and literature at Lviv University. His first literary works were published in the students’ magazine. Franco was too active in political and publishing fields. For this reason, in 1877 he was arrested and accused in spreading socialist propaganda. He spent 8 months in prison, but nevertheless he returned to his political work. Journal «Zoria» and the newspaper «Dilo» were organized with his help.

In 1888 he and O. Khorunzhynska married in Kyiv. At this time Franko worked as an employee in the journal «Pravda». In 1889 he was arrested again.

Franko regarded M. Drahomanov as a «European political leader» and that is why they collaborated for many years. But their views on socialism and the national question were not the same. Political and literary work did not interfere with Franko’s university studies. In 1894 he defended a doctoral dissertation and he lectured the history of the Ukrainian literature at Lviv University.

In 1908 his health got worse. During his last years Franko studied the Ukrainian folksongs and did numerous translations of ancient poetry. In 1916 Franko died in Lviv.

It’s quite clear that Franko made a great contribution to many areas of Ukrainian culture. We know him as a poet, prose writer, playwright, critic, translator, and publisher.

Franko’s prose works include nearly 100 short stories and a lot of novellas. Among his plays the most popular are «Stolen Happiness» and «The Dreams of Prince Sviatoslav». In these plays Franko proved himself as a master of historical play and comedy. His greatest poem is «Moses» (1905). It is based to a large extent on autobiographical material. Franko also made translation of the works of such famous authors as Homer, Dante, W. Shakespeare, E. Zolya, M. Lermontov, A. Pushkin and others.