THE READING MAN

Monuments and sculptures

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Šiauliai city

This man who “stood” here in 1983 is called “The Reading Man”. It is a metal elderly man standing on round paving stones, which remind of pre-war times. Metal sculpture artist Henrikas Orakauskas was creating “The Reading Man” several years. It is a piece of art that has required a lot of strength, skilfulness and diligence.

If you look carefully, you will see that “The Reading Man” is remarkable: it can read, it is dressed in ancient clothes, its shoes are sewn, it is wearing a top-hat, its hair “is grown”. The chief painter of the city Vilius Puronas also contributed to the location of this work of art and to the way it was designed and created.

Having looked at this metal man, older people might even think that they had seen it somewhere before. The same hand raised to the spectacles and the same ironic smile stand for the old press of Šiauliai. Now, it reminds us that the old Šiauliai used to be a big press centre, which had several printing houses. It recalls that previously there was a widely known A. Jakavičius’ bookstore not far from the place where the statue stands.

“The Reading Man” gives a sense to cultural traditions and links between the past and the present.

“The Reading Man” meets the 769 birthday of the city rejuvenated: radiating warmth, wearing shiny shoes and the suit that has regained its colour. This is the merit of the author of the sculpture Henrikas Orakauskas.

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