Statue of Putin goblin replaces controversial monument of Russian marshal in Prague

The statue will remain in Bubeneč for 30 days after which it will be auctioned off to raise money for weapons for Ukraine.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 06.12.2022 09:51:00 (updated on 06.12.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Dec 5 (ČTK) - A statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the shape of a goblin-like figure, switching off a gas valve, has temporarily replaced the controversial monument of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague 6's Bubeneč district today.

The monument will remain installed in the district's Interbrigade square for 30 days after which it will be auctioned off as part of the Gift for Putin (Darek pro Putina) initiative, artist and blacksmith Dušan Dostál, the creator of the sculpture, told ČTK.

The money raised from the auction of the provocative artwork will be used to buy weapons for Ukraine, a country that has endured Russian aggression since late February. The statue was installed to coincide with Ukraine's Armed Forced Day, Dec. 6, according to a tweet posted by the campaign.

Konev's statue stood in the square until the spring of 2020 when the district of Prague 6 had the statue removed in compliance with a decision made in September 2019 to replace the statue with a memorial to the Prague liberation in 1945.

The space is being temporarily used to display the Putin statue, which is meant to point the blame for the current energy crisis squarely at Russia, Dostál said.

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The statue's extended right arm also makes a not-so-subtle statement about Putin's stance and its similarities to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the sculptor said.

The sculpture's title, "The Ahriman Demon," refers to a demon from Persian mythology, and represents the ultimate evil, Dostál added.

The installation of the statue and its subsequent auction was organized by entrepreneur and philanthropist Dalibor Dědek, who initiated the Gift for Putin campaign in early May, which continues to collect money to buy weapons for Ukraine.

Dědek said that the statue sends three messages: the first is to tell the Czech Republic that the conflict continues and must be resolved, then a message to Ukraine, in a show of Czech solidarity, and lastly to Russia, to show how the country has tarnished its own history.

Dědek predicts the sculpture could raise up to six digits at auction.

Dostál said he had worked on the statue for 20 hours a day and finished it in two weeks at a meeting of blacksmith artists held annually at Helfštýn Castle in Central Moravia that is attended by artists from all over the world.

The Gift for Putin campaign is currently selling a number of Christmas items.

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