Did you know that Seattle is a new home to a 15-foot long statue of Vladimir Lenin – the most prominent symbol of communism? Now before we start rolling our eyeballs and nagging our heads let’s get some background info.
The statue was sculptured by a talented Slovak artist Emil Venkov who portrayed Lenin as a rigorous revolutionist, surrounded by guns and flames. This is very contrary to the Lenin’s other traditional portrayals as a philosopher and an educator.
The statue was installed in a Slovak town Poprad in 1988 and after the revolution (only a year later) it was quietly moved from Lenin’s Square to the junkyard. One day along walked a young American teacher named Lewis E. Carpenter who saw the sorry thing there and immediately fell in love (i.e. recognized it as one of the art pieces of Emil Venkov whose works he knew and admired). He couldn’t let it just rot there so he offered to buy it from the city for $13,000 (!!). The statue was professionally cut into 3 pieces and shipped to the USA at the total cost of $41,000 (!!!!!). How could Carpenter afford that? He mortgaged his own house, that is how serious he was about this thing.
Unfortunately, about a year after arriving back to the United States, Lewis died in a tragic car accident, never to be able to defend the lonely Lenin who up to this day stands just 3 blocks west of the Fremont Troll. Fremont is known to be a very artistic community so rarely any statue survives without some serious torture. Do you think they would leave Lenin alone? Oh noooo…. “A glowing red star and sometimes Christmas lights have been added to the statue for Christmas since 2004. For the 2004 Solstice Parade, the statue was made to look like John Lennon. During Gay Pride Week, the statue is dressed in drag. Other appropriations of the statue have included painting it as a clown, and clothing it in a custom-fitted red dress by the Seattle Hash House Harriers for their annual Red Dress Run.”
The Carpenter family has the statue up for sale since 1996. The asking price as of 2006 is $250,000. Who wants it?
Seriously, how should one react to this? Should we spit on Seattle for allowing Bolshevik remnants into the country or should we take a deep breath in and start accepting the statue as a work of art worth preserving? What do you think?
CZ: Vite, ze Seattle se pysni nekolika metrovou sochou Vladimira Lenina? Nez zacnete obracet oci v kul a nevericne kroutit hlavou, poslechnete si, jak se tam vubec dostala, je to velmi zajimavy pribeh.
Sochu vytvoril znamy sochar Emil Venkovsky, ktery Lenina v monumentu obklopil zbranemi a plameny ohne – tedy obraz neobycejneho razu. Lenin byl totiz komunisty vetsinou zobrazen jako radoby zamysleny filosof a ucitel narodu. Socha byla v roce 1988 nainstalovana v Popradu a po revoluci (o pouhy rok pozdeji) potichu odvezena na skladiste kovu. Tam nekolik let lezela nepovsimnuta az do te doby, kdy si ji vsimnul mlady American zvany Lewis E. Carpenter, ktery v Poprade v te dobe ucil anglictinu. Hned v Leninovi rozpoznal umelecke dilo a na prvni pohled se do nej zamiloval. Po dlouhem dohadovani s mestem ho od nej odkoupil za $13,000 (!!), nechal ho odborne rozrezat na tri casti a poslal ho postou do USA. Celkova utrata? 41,000 dolaru!!! Kde na to Lewis vzal? Zadluzil se svym domem.
Bohuzel pouhy rok pote, co Lenina privezl do USA pan Carpenter zemrel v tragicke dopravni nehode a Lenina nechal na pospas Fremontske umelecke komunite, kde byl vystaveny. Moc respektu tam ale nedostane, pri jakekoliv prilezitosti ho umelci ozdobi podle sveho (viz. foto).
Carpentrova rodina nabizi Lenina na prodej jiz nejaky ten patek a to za $250,000. Kdo si ho koupi?
Ted ale opravdu, meli bychom na soudruha Lenina v Seattlu plivat anebo se ho snazit vnimat jako umelecke dilo? Co myslite?
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