Prometheus Fire Statue – ChNPP

When the city of Pripyat was built, in order to demonstrate their ambition for the future, the leaders of Pripyat commissioned a large statue of Prometheus to be erected next to the cinema in town also named Prometheus (Прометей “Prometei”). Before the accident the Prometheus movie theater was the main cinema facility in the city and was located not far from the Polissya hotel.  The cinema, with its beautiful mosaic walls and the original base where the Prometheus statue once stood, can still be found in Pripyat even 30 years later.

After the April 1986 nuclear disaster, the statue was decontaminated and moved to its present-day location in the Garden of Remembrance at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the ABK-1 building only a few hundred yards from the Unit 4 reactor.  Behind the Prometheus statue is a small memorial wall with plates bearing the names of some of the victims of the accident.  Behind the wall is a wooden cross with a sign.

The Prometheus statue seems appropriate, considering Prometheus was the ancient Greek god that stole fire from Mount Olympus to give to mankind and was eternally punished by Zeus for doing so.  In Greek mythology Prometheus symbolized ingenuity and his twin brother Epimetheus symbolized foolishness.  After Prometheus had given the secrets of fire to mankind, he burst out in boastful song.  A chorus responds to hims proud claims, “What?  Men, whose life is but a day, possess already the hot radiance of fire?”  “They do;” says Prometheus, “and with it they shal master many crafts.”  It is therefore easy to understand why Prometheus is classically portrayed as a representation of human striving (particularly in the quest for scientific progress) and as a warning of the unintended consequences of overreaching.

The statue was referenced in the video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, where it is portrayed as being still in front of the theater in Pripyat.