A Ukranian artist has found a creative way to remove the memories of Soviet communism in his country. A no-longer-wanted Lenin statue in the city of Yuzhne, just outside Odessa, has been transformed into “the world’s first ever monument” to Darth Vader, according to its creator Alexander Milov. Because why not salute one of the greatest villains in popular culture, and at a time when the new Star Wars trailer is out? As part of saying goodbye to its Soviet past, the Ukranian government implemented a new legislation in April 2015, the so-called “decommunization law”, which demands all communist symbols and remnants be taken down. Among them, there was this Vladimir Lenin monument, but it would seem that, rather than removed, it got awoken by the dark force.
According to local news site Dumskaya, the statue of the Soviet leader was saved by the local residents and the workers of the factory where he once stood. They thought it better if the monument were transformed into something else. And indeed it was, as Lenin turned into Anakin Skywalker, George Lucas's Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet, the Sith Lord himself. The man behind this endeavour was Odessa’s famous artist Alexander Milov, who thought it was time for Ukraine to catch up with modern times. What’s interesting is that Lenin never actually left the premises. His statue was originally made of gypsum and needed, you’ll guess, reinforcement, in this case not only literally, but also conceptually. Alexander Milov solved the problem by wrapping it with Darth Vader’s trademark helmet and cape, made of titanium alloy. But wait, that’s not all! To complete this unusual Star Wars experience, there will be free Wi-Fi emitted from Darth Vader himself, so that The Force will be with you, always.
Although perhaps not very famous outside his hometown Odessa, Alexander Milov became the star of the 2015 Burning Man festival in Nevada, with his heart-touching installation entitled LOVE. This annual event, taking place in the Black Rock desert, was the artist’s dream for over fifteen years, and as he couldn’t visit it, he decided to take part in it instead. His memorable installation consists of two giant figures of a man and a woman, sitting back to back. Inside them, we see two children, also a boy and a girl, stretching their hands out to each other, in spite of the coldness of their “grown ups”. With this work, Alexander Milov became the first Ukranian artist in 30 years to receive a Burning Man grant, and his sculpture will surely remain in the memory of many Burning Man festival visitors for a long time to come.
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All images used for illustrative purposes only.