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Street Art

Sofia Red-Faced About Soviet Memorial – Alex Wells – ICD Program Coordinator

Street art or vandalism? That is the question. (Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous provocation, / Or to stand and take paint against the sea of delinquents…&c, &c.)


It is always a fine line between destruction and beauty, between challenges to authority and challenges to public decency. A recent addition (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/sofias-main-soviet-army-monument-gets-pop-art-facelift-2300398.html) by an anonymous street artist to a statue in Sofia has got people talking. A bronze sculpture of the Red Army, built to commemorate the Red Army’s advance on Nazi-allied Bulgaria in World War Two, was festively repainted last week; now Captain America, Santa Claus and the Joker look out over the caption, “Abreast With The Times.”


The statue was a point of controversy between Bulgarian pro-Russian and anti-Communist forces, which latter resent the commemoration of a “liberation” that ultimately resembled a Soviet annexing.


The Sofia Echo (http://sofiaecho.com/2011/06/19/1108734_gallery-soviet-army-monument-in-sofia-gets-touch-of-colour) suggests that local officials will take a while to clean up and find the culprits. In the meantime, then, it’s worth wondering whether this counts as an act of vandalism or a work of art—especially when the artist’s canvas is a deadly serious monument that means a lot to many people.

What do you reckon?


About icdblogsphereteam

We are the Blogsphere Team of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. We are the interactive part of the web resources of ICD. We spread culture and mutual understanding among cultures through blogs.


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The London Art as Cultural Diplomacy ConferenceAugust 21st, 2013


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