Stone is demanding in its application to art and architecture, requiring great effort and discipline to procure, move, and fashion. It is a subtractive process, where any mistake can prove fatal to the intended product, requiring meticulous care and attention to detail. The inherent properties of stone are that it is insulative, with generally low heat conductivity, and durable, with high compressive strength. As with all things in life, while it retains varying degrees of vulnerability to weathering and deterioration, stone is generally considered to be one of the most resistant materials in existence. These properties lend themselves to a compelling philosophical argument, that those who wish to live a life or build a world of enduring strength and beauty, should not only employ the use of stone in their craft, but model themselves after it as well.
Imagine for a moment, that you are a miner in Siberia at the end of the nineteenth century, slogging with your colleagues through the moss-laden, muck-infused waters of the mire in search of gold, only to stumble upon something far more rare. This is precisely what occurred in 1890, within the Sverdlovsk region of Russia’s Ural Mountains, when a team of laborers who were busy excavating a peat bog inadvertently discovered a strange and ornate wooden figure featuring an eerie human face. Resting at an approximate depth of four meters beneath the surface of the acidic, oxygen-low, and therefore anti-bacterial conditions of the bog that had preserved it, the mysterious object that would come to be known as the “Shigir Idol” (named after the Shigir bog it was found within) was discovered in a series of 10 fragments.
Ukraine is in rough economic shape with a lot of debt. The Ukrainian government has been asking the US and EU to bail them out of their turmoil. Both the nation, and its citizens desperately need new revenue and debt free cash. However, amongst all of this chaos, they can miraculously afford destroying historical, financially viable monuments. Why?