World at a Glance: Beslan memorial in San Marino

Beslan Memorial San Marino

World at a Glance is an infrequent series here on Sophie’s World, portraying curious, thought-provoking, happy, sad, wondrous, unexpected little encounters.

Beslan memorial San Marino

Wandering about in the world’s oldest republic, I stumbled upon this statue of a screaming boy, wearing only his underpants. It’s a monument to victims of terrorism, specifically the school massacre in Beslan: On 1 September 2004, first day of the school year, School no. 1 in Beslan in North Ossetia (a small, autonomous republic within the Russian federation) was besieged by 30 Chechen militants. 1128 people were taken hostage. Russian special forces moved in three days later, and when the siege ended, 334 of the hostages were killed. Most were young children.

I stare at the boy for a long time, terror etched into the young face. This little sculpture touches me more than the TV broadcasts from Beslan did. Somehow it seems more real, more tangible – than images projected through a screen.

As one would expect, there are memorials to this tragedy in Caucasus – and in other parts of Russia. But why San Marino? Well, Russian is spoken in many shops and restaurants, indicating a rather large number of Russian tourists in this little country. But is there another reason as well? I don’t know…

12 Responses to “World at a Glance: Beslan memorial in San Marino”

  1. Leigh 8 April 2013 0353 #

    What a powerful memorial – and a reminder not to forget. Have they done anything like this in Norway tot remember the kids in the shooting?
    Leigh recently posted..The Not-To-Be-Missed Maligne Canyon Icewalk in Jasper

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 8 April 2013 1047 #

      Yes, there’s a memorial on the mainland across from Utøya (the island where the kids were killed), and there are local ones around the countries in cities and towns where the kids were from.

  2. Mette - Italian Notes 8 April 2013 1334 #

    What’s the connection between Beslan and San Marino?
    Mette – Italian Notes recently posted..Barolo wine tour: A cellar full of wine

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 14 April 2013 1232 #

      Very good question – and difficult to find out. But it appears to be a few Beslan memorials in Italy, too – so perhaps an Italian – Russian connection…?

  3. Andrea 8 April 2013 1720 #

    This makes me sad…he looks so desperate
    Andrea recently posted..Boules and Traboules in Lyon

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 14 April 2013 1233 #

      Very evocative sculpture, I think. Wish I had written down the name of the artist.

  4. Salika Jay 12 April 2013 1713 #

    Such a sad story behind this memorial.
    Salika Jay recently posted..6 Best Family Days Out In Britain

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 14 April 2013 1234 #

      Sad, but important to remember.

  5. InsideJourneys 15 April 2013 0105 #

    I remember this tragedy. This memorial is definitely more powerful than what the news reported.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Good Hope Great House & Plantation, Jamaica

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 April 2013 2257 #

      More immediate.

  6. Laura Hoffmann 19 July 2014 2242 #

    Hello , I have the answer to your question about the connection between San Marino and Beslan: San Marino sees itself as a helper for every person in need ..a tradition that is vivid in the country for hundreds of years. Living this role San Marino offered free vacation accompanied by psychotherapy for the vicitims of the massacre in Beslan in 2004. Every time San Marino has helped someone they set up a memorial in honour of their service. That’s why you’ll find this Beslan memorial in San Marino today.:) (I visited the country a few weeks ago and was told this story by a guide)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 July 2014 1040 #

      Thank you very much for that clarification, Laura. I’ve been curious about this.

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