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Mannequins placed in Lenin’s old spot

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Feb. 13, 2014, 10:18 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Daryna Shevchenko

A man takes photo of the art installation at the former pedestal of Vladimir Lenin.
© Anastasia Vlasova

Daryna Shevchenko

Two months after the monument to Soviet ruler Vladimir Lenin at Taras Shevchenko Boulevard was torn down by pro-European protesters, artwork has again flowered on the spot.

Two months after the monument to Soviet ruler Vladimir Lenin at Taras Shevchenko Boulevard was torn down by pro-European protesters, artwork has again flowered on the spot.

About 100 gold-painted child mannequins were installed at the base monument on the afternoon of Feb. 13, replacing a golden toilet that appeared in early February and disappeared a few days later.

The plastic child mannequins are positioned around the front side of the monument, while one mannequin stands on top of the pedestal. The dummies are attached to the pedestal with thin ropes, one row above another, each having left arm stretched forward.

“This is all about the future of our children and the future of our country in our children,” says Tetyana Voitovych, 26-year-old conceptualist artist from Ivano-Frankivsk. “Soon the world will be taken over by the new generation with their natural leader.”

However, some Kyivans see a sadder drama in the installation.

“I think this is linked to the Lenin’s concentration camp. You know he was the founder of the Solovki camp and those (mannequins) might be depicting his victims,” says pensioner Lidia Ivanova, a Kyiv native.  

Ivanova says she is happy that Lenin is gone and his place was taken by modern art.

“I believe Lenin should have been taken down back in 1991. While those Soviet monuments are in their places, the nation won’t be reborn,” she said.

The artist says her installation has nothing to do with Lenin.

“When I came here Lenin was already gone, so I just got to work with an empty base,” Voitovych says.

The artist doesn’t want to talk about the cost except that it was “quite expensive” and that the money came from a sponsor.

Preparing the installation took Voitovych and her friends about two weeks.

Voitovych plans to continue working with vacated monument pedestals.

“I know there are (toppled) monuments like this in Sumy and Mykolaiv and in other cities, so soon I think, children will occupy empty pedestals all over the country,” she says.

Kyiv Post staff writer Daryna Shevchenko can be reached at shevchenko@kyivpost.com.

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