Years and centuries pass, generations succeed one another, but great works of art remain, long surviving their creators and the message they bring is fresh in each new age. Great poets speak for their people, speak in their people's names and express their most cherished dreams, thoughts and aspirations. Taras Shevchenko was such a poet.
His poetry is national and yet so international and humanistic, so distinctive and yet so universal, that it appeals and speaks for all people. Founder of the modern literary Ukrainian language, Shevchenko became the first Ukrainian poet to achieve an international reputation. Also a great artist, he was twice celebrated as a champion of people's freedom by UNESCO.
Immediately following his death, progressive forces began a movement to preserve the memory of Taras Shevchenko. The first surviving monument to the poet - a marble bust by the Russian sculptor V. Beklemeshev - was erected in 1899 in front of the Women's Sunday School on Khrystya Alchevska's estate in Kharkiv.