Many famous people approved of the idea to make a "Compassion" monument. The guardian council included: Elena Kamburova (chairman), Oleg Anofriev, Arkady Arkanov, Bella Akhmadulina, Andrey Bitov, Eugeniy Bunimovich, Elina Bistritskaya, Valentin Gaft, Gennady Gladkov, Alexander Gradsky, Grigory Gladkov, Vladimir Dashkevich, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Eugeniy Evtushenko, Fasil Iskander, Ludmila Kasatkina, Yury Kuklachev, Mikhail Levitin, Andery Makarevich, Olga Ostroumova, Lubov Polishchuk, Vyacheslav Pyetsukh, Konstantin Raikin, Yury Rost, Sergey Sereda (the president of Russian veterinary practitioners’ League), Yury Solomin, Yury Shevchuk, Mikhail Shirvindt, Alexey Shcheglov, Yury Yakovlev; lawyers: Polina Zhuk, Ekaterina Polyakova, Stanislav Markelov, Henrikh Padva, Henry Reznik and others. A writer and a journalist Irina Ozyornaya was the supervisor of the project.
Mendeleevskaya station was intentionally selected to be the place for the monument – it was in its pedestrian underpass that Malchik, a pet dog of many passengers and metro workers was stabbed with a kitchen knife in broad daylight.
"Izvestia" newspaper issued several articles dedicated to investigation of this crime (Irina Ozyornaya’s articles: "Malchik is killed", "Right to be cruel", "Malchik returns to metro", "What’s the big idea – a dog was stabbed!" and others).
These articles produced great repercussions. A group of national artists came to the head of metro Dmitry Gaev with a request to support the idea to put up a monument called "Compassion" at Mendeleevskaya station. This monument would be a symbol of respect to all living creatures, the symbol of protest against inhuman treatment of a stray pet.
The head of Moscow metro approved of the idea and after seeing the design of the "Compassion" monument, he appreciated the work of art saying in his interview to "Izvestia" that the sculpture will not only play an animal-protective role, but also have a beneficial effect on people, and especially on children. This is especially important nowadays.
Everybody raised money for the "Compassion" monument – Russian people as well as foreigners sent money to the Theatre of Music under the supervision of Elena Kamburova. Ordinary people, celebrities and many artists donated money on it. Moscow Duma deputy Eugeniy Bunimovich is quoted as saying in a radio programme that people’s unanimity shown at the whip-round for this monument could only be compared with the famous case when people raised funds for the monument to Pushkin in Moscow years ago.
It didn’t happen accidentally. The treatment of animals is "the first moral stage", as Lev Tolstoy used to say, and one can’t step over this stage to get farther – this shows society moral condition.
The "Compassion" monument was put up at Mendeleevskaya station on the night of 15/16 February.
A solemn ceremony of unveiling the first monument in the world dedicated to human treatment of stray dogs was held in the ticket office of Mendeleevskaya station on February 17, 2007. Notably, this event took place on the last day of the Dog year.
The most famous dog of Moscow was no longer stray after finding its shelter. The sculpture made of bronze was put up on a pedestal of monolithic serpentine.
Sculptor: Alexander Tsigal.
Artist: Sergey Tsigal.
Architect: Andrey Nalich.
Designer: Peter Nalich.
Famous artists, many of whom gave money for the monument arrived at the ceremony. Andrey Makarevich, Mikhail Shirvindt, Veniamin Smekhov, Oleg Anofriev, Ludmila Kasatkina, Sergey Yursky and many others were among them.
The author of the monument, sculptor Alexander Tsigal asked policemen and metro workers to let people take pictures, let children sit on the bronze dog and even let them put their bags near the dog: "Let Malchik guard them, taking part in people’s lives".
"Compassion" monument got specialists’ high evaluation recently – its authors got diplomas and a bonus from Moscow sculptors’ association.
The monument attracts attention of ordinary people. People come to see it not only from many parts of Moscow and Russia, but also from all over the world. Bunches of natural flowers can always be seen on the pedestal and children like this monument a lot.