Uzhgorod Harry Houdini

Mini-sculpture of Harry Goodin1
Mini-sculpture of Harry Goodin1

Few people know that the legendary magician and master of amazing releases from cells and bins Harry Houdini has Transcarpathian roots. He was born in 1874 in Budapest, at a time when and Uzhgorod, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And Houdini’s relatives lived in Transcarpathia. His grandmother lived in the village of Storozhytsia, Uzhgorod district.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Uzhhorod residents decided to install a mini-sculpture to his famous countryman. It was installed on his birthday-March 24, 2015 year. The author of this mini-masterpiece in bronze is the sculptor Mikhail Kolodko.

After opening, the sculpture suddenly disappeared. Later it turned out that that it was given to Houdini’s hometown, Budapest. But soon the mini-sculpture as if from nowhere it appeared in the old place and stands on Bogdan Khmelnitsky square in front of the Uzhgorod hotel (GPS: 48.621376, 22.287033).

The sculpture depicts Houdini during the execution of one of the the most famous numbers, when he got out of the captivity of chains connected by strong padlocks. He was a master of just such tricks and knew a way out of the most improbable situations.

The mini-sculpture is mounted on a pedestal, to which each anyone can attach a padlock, thinking about their problem, and hoping that the spirit of an outstanding magician will help solve it.

An interesting legend related to this mini-sculpture is narrated in his book “Uzhgorod – the world capital of mini-sculptures” by Nadezhda Popadyuk. According to this legend, the future magician in childhood often visited his grandmother, who lived in the village of Yovrya (now Storozhnitsa) near Uzhgorod. It was she who taught the first card tricks of the legendary master of incredible releases from unreliable shackles and locks. When his family emigrated to the United States, Harry from the age of 10 publicly began to show these card tricks in entertainment venues in new York – and so began his career as an illusionist. During a tour of Europe in 1900. Houdini arrived in Uzhgorod, where in honor of his grandmother demonstrated self-release from the casemates Uzhgorod castle. According to legend, locked in the” torture Room”, dressed in prison clothes and massive shackles, he left two minutes later and entered the secret passages for dwarfs, and fifteen minutes after he was locked, appeared in the moat of the castle disguised in his costume. Near the broken shackles found a bronze mini-sculpture of Harry Houdini, which the owners of Uzhgorod castle gave to the city and installed near the road that leads to the village of Storozhnitsa (in front of the hotel “Uzhgorod”).

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