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Hey there! Point your nose up here! Or at least an ear… I’m here, up high. It’s nice, of course, that you’re interested, but I can see we’ll have trouble talking. So listen very carefully.
I am the oldest in this city – I have been standing here for about 50 years and I look down at the city from above. A wave lifted me to a height of a few meters so I could look after the city’s fishermen. How did I get here, you ask? Well, that’s quite a complicated story – please, sit down. Look, dear friend, to my left. This bright, ornate building is currently the town hall. When the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte occupied almost the entire Duchy of Prussia, the capital was briefly moved from Berlin to Klaipėda, and this bright, majestic building became the temporary residence of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia. I promise you, it was then the most beautiful Neoclassical building in the entire city! It was soon rebuilt in the Neo-Renaissance style and remains the building you can see now. But don’t get me wrong, the residents of the city have something to be proud of – in this historic building, the October edict was signed announcing the abolition of serfdom throughout the Duchy.
A century later, to commemorate the victory over the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, a monument to Borussia was erected here, in the place which I now guard. Borussia was a woman of incredible beauty… She wore lavish antique clothing and a magnificent Roman helmet on her head. She reminds me somewhat of the Greek goddess Athena: majestic, wise, only very bellicose – a real symbol of Prussia. In 1923, Lithuanian insurrectionists, fighting for the incorporation of the Klaipėda region, removed the statue of the beautiful woman and took it to the town hall yard. In the late 1930s, as the local German nationalist sentiments intensified, it was rebuilt. During World War II, Borussia disappeared and was later replaced by me.
In 1958, I got my bronze body, but then work stopped – it took 13 years for me to finally take my place. I spent 5 years in a workshop in Vilnius, then I spent another five years thrown away in some corner of the city. Thrown away! So I can’t complain about my current position: I count the guests of the city passing by along the waterfront and refresh children wandering in the fountain on hot summer afternoons.
And most importantly, every morning I can monitor whether the mayor of the city is doing his job properly. You know, I keep hoping to catch him late one day and scold him – no luck so far.
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