Lenin’s 143rd birthday was marked by some opinion polls in which, according to RIA Novosti Russians were generally positive about Lenin’s legacy but according to the Moscow Times (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russians-relate-moderately-to-lenins-legacy-poll-says/479042.html) they were more luke-warm. According to Russia Today (http://rt.com/politics/bury-lenin-russians-majority-249/) they wanted him buried. Berezovsky was to sell off his Warhol print of Lenin briefly before his death and prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cited Lenin to condemn the Cyprus bail-out plan. In January some Poles were up in arms about using Lenin to sell mobile phones and Orthodox ‘scholars’ want to censor Lenin’s works for extremism whereas in the southern Indian state of Kerala, even the hotels are festooned with red flags in honour of Lenin
Statues of Lenin and stories surrounding them abound.
Seattle’s Lenin and the story of how Lewis E. Carpenter tried to rescue and ship a monument of Lenin from Slovakia to the US is an extraordinary one. Victim of a considerable local scandal due to this plan, Carpenter died in a car accident in the middle of the furore but finally the Lenin statue was to be placed in the city near a felafel and ice cream store in the artistic Freemont district of the city. According to wikipedia, its place in the artistic life of the area is now firmly rooted:
Fremont was considered a quirky artistic community, and like other statues in the neighborhood (such as Waiting for the Interurban), the Lenin statue is often the victim of various artistic projects, endorsed or not. A glowing red star and sometimes Christmas lights have been added to the statue for Christmas since 2004. For the 2004 Solstice Parade, the statue was made to look like John Lennon. During Gay Pride Week, the statue is dressed in drag. Other appropriations of the statue have included painting it as a clown, and clothing it in a custom-fitted red dress by the Seattle Hash House Harriers for their annual Red Dress Run.
Another Lenin statue which was to find itself at the centre of a news story was the one in the small central Italian town of Cavriago. On April 1st 1995 the statue of Lenin was found to emit tears for several hours proving that the Virgin Mary or San Gennaro were not the only statues to be capable of this feat. According to the report by Andrew Gumbel in the Independent on April 3 1995 this is how things went:
Miracle or fraud? At noon on Saturday, a statue of Lenin began weeping in the small town of Cavriago in the heart of the “Red belt” of central Italy. A small crowd gathered in the main square to gaze at the founder of the Russian revolution’s image as it emitted thick white tears for several hours.
Was this Communism’s answer to the epidemic of Madonnas reported to be weeping blood and other substances all over Italy? Actually, it was an April Fool’s joke, but it was convincing enough to take in quite a few of the crowd
Another Lenin statue adorns The Kremlin which is, according to the venues banner outside, Europe’s hottest gay venue. (And since Lenin did decriminalise homosexuality in Russia- five decades before Britain- Lenin as gay icon is not altogether unthinkable).
Some Lenin statues have been the victims of bombs like the one in Saint Petersburg:
Others have been decapitated. Some through design but others simply because people tried to adorn them with some accoutrements such as a scarf as happened a few days ago in Kostroma:
In another case in Poltava both Lenin and Kruspskaya were decapitated:
Some Lenin statues may be found lurking in the most unlikely of places like this one in the Lake of Baikhal:
Here are a few more statues (statues to the Lenin lamp or a statue of Lenin made of sugar, rice and chocolate which was erected in Bucharest: