A new monument to Empress Catherine the Great who made Crimea part of Russia in 1783 will be unveiled in Simferopol, the peninsula’s capital, next year, the head of the Russian Unity public organization told TASS on Friday.
"The first monument was unveiled in Simferopol in 1890," Yelena Aksenova said. "However, it was completely destroyed in 1919, after the [Bolshevik] revolution."
The new statue may cost between 60 million and 120 million rubles (some $895,000 and $1.8 million), she said, adding that 40 million rubles ($597,000) had already been collected.
Aksenova presented the statue’s project to Prince Dimitri Romanov, the oldest relative of last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The 89-year old prince who visited Crimea with his wife Dorrit supported the idea.
"Catherine II played a great role in Crimea’s development. The peninsula became part of Russia during her rule," he said.
Catherine the Great ruled in 1762-1796 and her reign is considered Russia's golden age.