Ukraine: Lenin statue given Darth Vader makeover

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

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A composite image showing the new Darth Vader statue on the right and the old Lenin statue on the leftImage source,
Image caption,
Same plinth, different statue: Factory workers and local residents asked for the Lenin monument (L) to be given a new look

A statue of Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian city of Odessa has been given a sci-fi twist - by being transformed into Darth Vader.

The statue, in the grounds of a factory in the Black Sea port city, had been earmarked for removal under the country's "de-communisation" law. But instead, it now wears the instantly recognisable shiny black helmet and mask of the Star Wars villain, the local Dumskaya news website reports. "Everything flows and nothing abides," says warehouse manager Semyon Horbunov, taking inspiration from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. "New heroes replace old ones, and this is how the world goes round."

But while the monument is Darth Vader on the outside, deep down it's still Lenin. "The bronze Lenin was left inside, so that the grateful or not-so-grateful descendants could exhume him, if needed," sculptor Alexander Milov is quoted is saying by Ukraine Today.

In April, Ukraine's parliament passed a bill banning communist propaganda on monuments, and in the names of places and streets. The law spelled the end for hundreds of statues of Lenin across the country, but as Odessa's newly transformed monument no longer depicts the Bolshevik leader, it will now be spared.

As well as a gaining a new outfit, and a perhaps new fan base, the statue has been brought right up-to-date with a technological addition, too: it now emits free wi-fi from the helmet.

Image source,
Image caption,
The Darth Vader details are made of a titanium alloy

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