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17 January2014

Worker Statue 2003



Soviet Art Deco style sculpture "Worker and Kolkhoz Woman" was finally put back in its place on November 28, 2009 following a period of restoration.


Probably best known for serving as the logo of Mosfilm - the Moscow film studio - the Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa (Worker and Kolkhoz Woman) was chosen as its logo in 1947, it can be seen in the opening credits of the film Red Heat (the first US film to be shot in the USSR), as well as many of the Russian films released by the Mosfilm studio.


Worker Statue 2 2003


The monumental sculpture by Vera Mukhina depicting the symbols of the Soviet state - the hammer and sickle, was originally made for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. The 24.5-meter high steel statue was originally created to crown the Soviet pavilion of the World's Fair. The organizers had placed the Soviet and German pavilions facing each other across the main pedestrian boulevard at the Trocadéro on the north bank of the Seine. It was subsequently moved to Moscow and located in the Soviet-era Economic Acievements Park - VDNKh where it remained for many years.



The statue glorifying communism, was neglected and fell into disrepair in the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when such symbols of the ancien-regime fell out of favour with the reformist elite and democratic movement. It was fortunate that the monument did share the same fate as many other symbols of the communist era - being pulled down and unceremoniously dumped in the park next to the House of Artists (opposite Gorky Park), or face being sold-off to a foreign buyer; although it did come close in 2000 when an American company was interested in buying it. The bid was turned down by the Russian government. Aleksander Solovyov, an official with the Department of Monument Preservation, issued a statement calling the statue "national property that may not be demolished or sold."



The enduring strength and grandeur of the image is cherished by many Muscovites, and, following Putin's policy of restoring some of the more powerful symbols of the Soviet-era, the sculpture was removed for restoration in autumn of 2003 with a return planned for 2005. The restoration was beset by financial problems and re-installation was delayed until 2009.


On December 4th, 2009, the giant statue was unveiled on a new 34.5-meter-tall pedestal-pavilion (the old pedestal was 10 meters tall) in the All Russian Exhibition Park (as VDNKh is now known) in northeast Moscow after a five-year restoration. Inside the new pedestal is a museum and exhibition hall for 5,000 visitors.

Opening ceremony of