There was no place for it in the St. Stephen's Park - the statue of our founding king was erected in Kispest

Hungarian version of the article: A Szent István parkban nem kapott helyet – Államalapító királyunk szobrát Kispesten állították fel

August 19, 2021 at 6:30 PM

The work was originally intended to replace the statue of György Lukács in Szent István Park, but the Capital decided otherwise, so the 2.5-metre-high bronze statue of our founding king ended up not in the park named after him, but in the Templom Square of the 19th District.

The erection of the statue of St. Stephen was decided by the Budapest General Assembly in 2017: it was decided that the work should be made in the park named after him, in the 13th District, in place of the statue of communist politician György Lukács, commissar of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, philosopher. The work of sculptor István Harmath, which depicts the founding king of the state, was selected in an open, national competition of the Budapest History Museum - Budapest Gallery and the Municipality of Budapest, and in 2019 the capital also gave permission to erect the sculpture. 

The 2.5 metre high bronze statue of St. Stephen was lifted into place by a crane (Photo: uj.kispest.hu)

The statue in its final place, in the Templom Square in Kispest (Photo: uj.kispest.hu)

Spatial planning also began in the fall of 2019, but the newly elected leadership of the capital halted work, citing local civilians initiating a review of the site. The Budapest City Council initiated a consultation with NGOs in the 13th District, meanwhile, the Budapest Gallery prepared a new expert opinion, in which a new location was proposed within the park, where the statue of St. Stephen would not disturb the other works of fine art or take space from the grassy part. We have written in detail about the placement of the statue and the statement of the Budapest Gallery.

Nevertheless, in September 2020, a new location came up for the statue, Templom Square in Kispest, but the proposal for this was rejected by the representatives of the capital at that time. Eventually, however, on 14 June 2021, Mayor Gergely Karácsony - living with the extraordinary authorization introduced due to the epidemic situation, then valid for one more day - decided in one person that the statue of St. Stephen would be erected in Kispest. 

The 1.1 metre high pedestal is made of white Croatian limestone (Photo: uj.kispest.hu)

For the exact location of the bronze statue the Templom Square in the 19th District was chosen, the middle of the pedestrian street opposite the entrance to the Church of the Assumption, and finally, a few metres away, a small green area was designated as the final location. 

The 2.5-metre-high bronze statue of St. Stephen was erected in its final place on Tuesday morning, 17 August, at the top of the 1.1-metre-high pedestal made of white Croatian limestone - writes the website of the 19th District. The article reveals that the sculptor István Harmath himself supervised the erection of his public statue, prepared the pedestal of the statue, and supervised the crane.

Around the work were planted 1,500 flowering annuals, begonias and 1,500 perennials, rose bushes, in the color world of which, according to the artist's concept, red, white and green are dominant. In addition, ten trees (linden, ash and sycamore) are planted. Among the trees will be stylishly Tilia, St. Stephen's linden. White lavender was intended by garden designers on the lawn islands around the statue, the article reveals. 

Cover photo: Statue of St. Stephen, Church of the Assumption in the background (Photo: Facebook / Kispest city)

 


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