The equestrian statue of Alexander III sculpted by Paolo Troubetzkoy was unveiled in 1909. The statue, showing a corpulent Tsar on a very heavy horse, was hardly inaugurated, when it caused an intense public scandal. Petersburg society was divided. The more reactionary part of society was indignant. They said the caricature of the Tsar was too open. However, democratic society welcomed the powerful and exposing monumental sculpture. The author of the monument remained unflappable and said, “I do not engage in politics. I simply portrayed one animal for another.”
It is interesting to note that Alexander III seems to be the favourite Tsar of President Putin. So the question is whether he will allow this statue to survive.