If you were born in the Eastern block of Europe, you sure as hell saw a lot of Soviet monuments around. Soldiers, proudly leaning in forward in anticipation for a head-on fight with their guns in hands, fellow comrades standing in all their imposing and muscular glory, huge heads of Lenin… You’ve seen them all. While for the older generation, it can really evoke positive sentiments, even memories of the glorious Soviet army maybe, for the young ones these monuments are usually synonymous with the good ole Soviet brain-washing.
The young generation of Bulgarians falls into the latter category. In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, a huge monument for the Soviet Army was built back in 1954. However, it sure has seen better days, as the monument becomes a victim of vandalism over and over again. The city officials clean it only to find it painted over again.
It all started in 2011 when the monument was painted to look like a mish-mash of American pop-culture icons
Image credits: Ignat Ignev
The painting job was done by a group of anonymous artists who call themselves Destructive Creation. The daunting military figures were turned into much friendlier subjects like Superman, Ronald McDonald, Santa Claus, and Wonder Woman. A slogan which translates into English as “In pace with time” was scribbled beneath them.
In 2012, the monument’s soldiers were given balaclavas in support of Pussy Riot
Image credits: Nikolay Tsekov
In 2012, three previously arrested members of the Russian feminist protest punk rock band Pussy Riot were convicted by a Russian court and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment each. This was widely criticized outside Russia and on the same day of the conviction, colorful knit balaclavas (trademark of Pussy Riot members) were put on the heads of figures of the monument.
In 2013, it was covered in pink in honor of the anniversary of the Prague Spring in 1968
Image credits: Ignat Ignev
The pink color is a reference to the painting of The Monument to Soviet Tank Crews in Prague by David Černý in 1991., while the slogan beneath the figures says “Bulgaria apologizes.”
In 2014, it announced “Glory to Ukraine”
Image credits: Vassia Atanassova
In February 2014, the monument was painted once again and this time it honored Ukraine that was (and still is) a victim of Russia’s aggression. One of the soldiers and the flag above was painted in the national colors of Ukraine and the phrase “Glory to Ukraine” was written in Ukrainian on the monument. An obscene reference to Vladimir Putin was also made, by calling him “Kaputin.” The vandalism was an act of support of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.
Here’s how the monument looks without any paint on it
Image credits: kashulk
What do you think? Do you support this kind of vandalism?