HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS
2013, Oil on Italian Linen, 120 x 100cm
She was just ten years old before being rendered irrelevant. At almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty, Mother of the Motherland was unveiled in Kiev by Leonid Brezhnev in 1981, only a decade before the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union voted itself into extinction.
It could have been worse: originally twin statues of Lenin and Stalin, each nearly 200 metres tall, were planned for the site. With the Soviet economy already deeply stressed, the estimated 9 million rouble construction cost was controversial from the outset. And current financial shortages mean the “eternal” flame at its base - which consumes 400 cubic metres of gas per hour - is no longer eternal. Nowadays it is burned only on the biggest national holidays.
Like the monuments of antiquity, it may only be a matter of time before the prevailing political creed decides she be “repurposed” for another use, or scrapped altogether.