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Grigory Pasko: Luzhkov’s Strangest Monuments

pasko1011101.jpgIn an article I wrote for the Index about Luzhkov-the-journalist that the former mayor of Moscow has no doubt dreamed about how upon the expiration of his powers he will be conferred the honor of being put on display in his city in the form of a monument. I am ready to make a wager that a monument is already ready and that its author – Luzhkov’s best friend the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, whose amazing monstrosities «grace» many cities of the world, including Moscow as well.

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Moscow actually hasn’t had much luck with monuments. There never were that many of them to begin with, and under Luzhkov they began to actively destroy them altogether. Historical buildings got hit particularly badly. In their place the construction mafia, close to of Luzhkov, rebuilt the ancient city with remakes in the «Luzhkovian baroque» style.

However few people know that monuments were built under Luzhkov. Attimes – remarkable in their tastelessness and incomprehensible indesignation and reasons for appearance. For example, in my districtthere are a whopping five strange monuments. It’s a good thing thedistrict is far from being a central one, or else crowds of foreigntourists would be forced to behold these ugly freaks.

Judge foryourselves. One monument – to students’ superstitions (photo above).This despite the fact that there isn’t a single higher educationalestablishment in the district.

Another monument – to the kind children of the world under the name “Guardian-Angel” .

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This composition is dedicated to the organization that came to replace the pioneers. The «Kind Children of the World» are little-known to anybody, but they say that this is the personal project of some kind of deputy of the Moscow city duma. The children have not stood out in any way, but information about them regularly appears in the party newspaper of the «United Russia» party.

…They would do better to collect old newspapers for recycling.

They say there is in my district a monument to H.C. Andersen.

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What relation the Danish storyteller has to an outlying bedroom district of Moscow – is incomprehensible. And yet somebody actually decided to allocate the budgetary funds of the city for this monument. Question : who? The only thing I was able to clarify was that the contracting party for the design and construction of the monument was a directorate of the “Gidromost” organization. In their substantiation for the appearance of the monument the contracting party wrote: Andersen has entered into the history of world literature as the author of fairy tales: «The steadfast tin soldier», «The ugly duckling», «The tinderbox», «The snow queen». About Moscow – not a word.

There is in my district a monument to boots, to a record-book, to a warrior-internationalist…

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At the last one I can not look without tears. Now this one truly defines ugly and freaky. It doesn’t even – look like a soldier. But the little kids of our district are forced to stand there in honor guards, like in the old times of the USSR, to lay flowers to this monstrosity…

…I look at these, somebody’s thoughts set in stone, and I think: but sooner or later they are going to put up a monument to Luzhkov. And no doubt this one, that’s in the photo.

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Photos: the monuments of my district.