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The first monument ever raised in Odessa is dedicated to Armand-Emmanuel de Vignerot du Plessis, 5th Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac, and it was unveiled in 1828.
The Duke of Richelieu was appointed the Governor of Odessa in 1803, and later in 1805 he became the Governor-General of Odessa and Novorossia. The Duke was highly admired by the odessites for his activities, and even considered as the founder of the city. It is during the years of his administration that Odessa has turned into a large trade port and increased its population to 35 thousand inhabitants. Beneficial trade conditions have attracted people of various origins to settle in the city and transformed Odessa into a booming and prosperous porto-franco.
In 1814, as soon as Napoleon has abdicated the throne, the Duke of Richelieu returned to Paris. He died in 1822 aged 56. Upon receiving this news the Count Alexander de Langeron has called upon all citizens to collect the funds for erecting the monument. The Governor-General Michail Vorontsov later ordered the statue in bronze to the renowned sculptor Ivan Martos.
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