The opening of the monument to Minin and Pozharskiy, created by sculptor Ivan Petrovich Martos, took place on February 20, 1818, with the Emperor and the Empress attending "in front of the vast confluence of people ".
This is a significant and legendary monument, which purpose is not only to eternize the act of bravery of two people, but to underline the heroism of the whole nation while struggling against the Polish-Lithuanian occupants. Its history is tightly connected with another date, glorifying the power of Russian weapon. Primarily, the Monument was to be erected in 1812 celebrating the 200th Anniversary of invaders’ banishment. But we all know that year is connected with the new invasion. After the defeat of Napoleon's army this decision has strengthened. Constructed with people’s resources collected among the residents of Nizhniy Novgorod (homeland of Kuzma Minin) the monument was erected in the center of the Red Square in 1818. Nowadays it has been slightly "relocated" because it was blocking drive through the Red Square during parades.
Commenting on the idea of the monument, the artist himself stated: "Minin is rushing to rescue his homeland, his right hand grabs the hand of Pozharskiy - as a token of their like-minding - and with his left hand pointing to Moscow which stands at the edge of downfall". According to the traditions of Neo-classicism the movement to which Martos belonged, the figures remind of antique statues, but at the same time the artist has tried to provide it with national distinctness. The Savior is depicted at the shield of Pozharskiy. Minin's antique tunic, dressed above his trousers, is very similar to Russian stitched body-shirt. His hairstyle is traditional Russian "skobka".