He never visited Russia over the course of his fictitious life, but Sherlock Holmes will soon grace Moscow in statue form, authorities said Friday.
"(Moscow City Hall's) Monuments Committee has decided that there needs to be a monument of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in Moscow," Sergei Petrov, head of the committee, said in remarks carried by the Interfax news agency.
The statue is to open near the British Embassy on the banks of the Moscow River under the auspices of the Moscow-based non-profit foundation Cultural Dialogue/One World. The organisation has said it wants to unveil the monument later this year or early 2007.
No design has yet been chosen, however, and Petrov, of the monuments committee, said a closed competition would determine the architect.
"I can't say anything concrete about when the monument will be opened," Petrov said.
Sherlock Holmes was hugely popular in the Soviet Union and still is today in Russia. Six Russian-language film adaptations, beginning in 1979 and most recently in 2000, cemented the popularity of Arthur Conan Doyle's super sleuth behind the Iron Curtain.
Russian actor Vasily Livanov used his variation on Holmes' legendary phrase - "Elementarno, Vatson!" - to take his place in the hearts of Soviet citizens, as well as to receive the Order of the British Empire. Livanov is the only Russian actor to have received the honour.
In addition to the Holmes monument, the fund said it had plans to commission statues of literary characters, The Little Prince and Don Quixote in Moscow, as well as the Three Musketeers in St Petersburg.