The monument to the founder of Kharkiv University Karazin Vasyl Nazarovych, is one of the first monuments in Kharkiv. In 1872, in the view of approaching university founder’s centenary (1873), Kharkiv University Senate, on the initiative of the famous writer H.P. Danilevskyi, petitioned the government to permit a subscription for erecting a monument to V.N. Karazin. In October 1874 Gubernia Zemstvo Assembly (Provincial Representative Assembly) apportioned 5 000 rubles for this purpose and 5 000 more to establish Karazin scholarship. Several years later the Minister of the Interior approved the Statute of the Committee on the erection of the monument. The Committee was chaired by the University President. The Committee included, among others, Professors D.I. Bahaliy and A.I. Dudukanov, V.N. Karazin’s grandson M.M. Karazin, writer and painter, I.I. Karazin, is relative and a landowner from Bohodukhiv district, as well as representatives of Gubernia Zemstvo Board. In contrast to busts on high pedestals common for that time, it was decided to erect a full-size statue.
The design of the statue in clay was made by St. Petersburg sculptor I.I Andrealetti, and the design of the pedestal was made by Academician of Architecture O.M. Beketov. The artists portrayed V.N. Karazin during his speech to the city public on 1 September 1802, in which he argued for the establishment of Kharkiv University. The pedestal has two inscriptions – the words of V.N. Karazin “The main reason of mine in establishing the University was the benefit of my beloved country and the Southern Land of Russia”; and at the front of the pedestal “1805-1905. Vasyl Nazarovych Karazin, founder of Kharkiv University”.
In 1903 the design of the monument was approved by Zemstvo Assembly and the University Senate. The site of the monument was to be a round square at the beginning of the main alley of the University Garden (there stands the monument to T.H. Shevchenko at present). In the middle of 1904 the design of the sculpture was approved by the Commission of the Academy of Fine Arts, and a year later it was cast in bronze at the fine-arts bronze-casting factory in Petersburg.
It was solemnly unveiled on 20 July 1907.
The monument changed its place several times. In 1934 it was moved to the University building in Universytetska Street (near the present-date Yunist cultural center).
In 1958 the monument to V.N. Karazin was once again moved to T.H. Shevchenko city garden.
In 2004 the monument finaly took its due place. It was moved to the main entrance of the University, which since 1999 has been named after its founder – Vasyl Nazarovych Karazin.