The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh) is a permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park in Moscow and located on the Central Alley across from the Ukraine pavilion, the Stone Flower is one of VDNKh’s most prominent fountains. The central part of the fountain is a complex structure, which depicts a huge flower with petals made of individual cobalt glass pieces atop a two-tier marble base with sculptural clusters surrounding its perimeter. The flower is decorated with mosaics and stones from the Urals and apart from the gigantic flower, the fountain is also decorated with multiple bronze figures of swans, birds, fruit and stucco depicting ears, from which jets of water rise. Designed by the architect Konstantin Topuridze and created by the sculptor Prokopy Dobrynin, the construction of the fountain was completed in 1954 and the inaugural ceremony was set to the tune of The Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich. It is maintained by many that the Stone Flower was the first light and musical fountain in the USSR
It is said that the Flower Fountain was inspired by a fairy tale about stone flower, written by Russian writer Pavel Bazhov. The fairy tale, included in the collection named ‘The Malachite Casket’, has become the eternal inspiration for artists, architects, directors, composers.
Unfortunately, by the early 2010s, the Stone Flower Fountain had begun to decay. The fountain’s historical finish had begun to crumble and half of its water pumps became nonfunctional.
In 2018, before the beginning of the renovation of the fountain, several decorative pieces were found to be missing and during the process of dismantling, the glass was found to be matted and soiled due its long exposure to the harsh weather and the aggressive environment. Both the factors affected the very essence of the fountain's colour and mood. Once the original mosaics were cleaned, it became evident that the fountain was meant to be much brighter than the visitors could see 65 years later. To protect the glass against hard water and sediments, it was treated with a water repellent that made the colours even more radiant.
In early April 2019, as the photos of the newly renovated Stone Flower Fountain began popping up on social media, many people expressed their frustration at the fountain’s cheap and coarse new look. It is also complained that the facets of the crystals on the outer bowl are painted in rather unnatural shades. However, the restoration specialists have requested the public to wait for a few years for the elements to return the flower to a more natural-looking state.
Meanwhile, the Stone Flower Fountain is getting ready to work at full capacity. The trial run has been already been conducted. The restoration team expects that, within a short time the Muscovites, as well as the tourists will be satisfied to see the Stone Flower in its original glory.