Street Art

Soviet war statue in Bulgaria gets a pop art facelift

Posted June 19th, 2011

Bulgaria, Graffiti, Street Art

“Can Superman handle a Soviet machine-gun flanked by Santa Claus with binoculars and rifle, while McDonald’s clown mascot Ronald drinks beer behind their backs?

All is possible in a witty pop art facelift of a symbolic Soviet army monument in central Sofia Saturday.
The massive bronze relief sculpture honouring the Red Army’s advance on Nazi-allied Bulgaria during World War II has long been a bone of contention between Russophiles and anti-communists in Bulgaria, who want it demolished.

But it drew more smiles than scorn this weekend as both children and adults flocked to have their pictures taken in front of the flamboyantly repainted figures of the soldiers.” (AFP)

“The figures of Soviet soldiers at the base of a Soviet Army monument have been transformed into superheroes in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, reports the Daily Mail.

“Twenty years ago you would have been shot for stepping too close to this monument in Sofia in Bulgaria.

But after the smashing of the Berlin Wall, statues celebrating communist rule appear to be fair game to the graffiti artists of the former Soviet block in Eastern Europe.
An anonymous artist transformed Russian Red Army soldiers from a monument in the city of Sofia, in Bulgaria, into popular superheroes and cartoon characters.

Taking centre stage is Superman with his distinctive red cape and blue suit. To the left is Santa Claus and to the right Ronald McDonald, the mascot of the fast-food giant McDonalds, and the Joker also makes an appearance.

Below the graffiti artist has sprayed “Moving with the times” in Bulgarian black paint. The “artistic vandalism” appeared this morning – but it is still not clear who is behind the colourful display.

The giant monument was built to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Russian ‘liberation’ of Bulgaria in 1944.
It is regarded as the prime example of the forceful socialist-realism of the period.

The place of honour goes to a Red Army soldier atop a column, surrounded by animated cast-iron sculptural groups depicting determined, gun-waving soldiers and members of the proletariat.”

Rian from Belgrade: “Bulgarian policemen are looking for a vandal, who defiled a monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia on Saturday night, Bulgaria’s information agency Novinite reported. Police already have a photograph of the suspect and after he is detained he will have to pay a fine for vandalism, while the authorities say he would also have to wash the monument.”