A statue depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as a goblin tightening a gas valve has been unveiled on Interbrigade Square in Prague 6.
The statue will remain visible to the public for 30 days and then go up for auction.
“Money raised will go to purchasing military material and donate it to Ukraine,” said the author of the statue, blacksmith and sculptor Dusan Dostal.
Prague 6 has decided to remove the previous statue of Marshal Ivan Konev in March 2020.
It was moved into storage and will eventually be placed within the planned Museum of the 20th Century, which Prague plans to open in the coming years.
The statue was the centre of a heated debate, including protests and international disputes between supporters of the Red Army’s liberation of the Czech capital and those who are critical of Konev’s repressive role within the Communist Eastern Bloc.
The place has now been temporarily taken over by the statue of Putin, which, according to the author, is meant to point out the culprit behind the current rise in energy prices.
The statue, with its raised right arm, also represents Putin in combination with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, he says, and thus expresses the position taken by the Russian president.
The work, titled Ahriman the Demon, the evil spirit in Early Iranian Religion, Zoroastrianism, and Zorvanism, was created on the occasion of an international meeting of artistic blacksmiths.
The installation of the statue and its subsequent auction was organised by businessman Dalibor Dědek.
“The statue should send a signal to the Czech Republic that the problem in Ukraine still exists and needs to be solved. And to show Ukrainians that we are with them,” Dědek said CTK.