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Keep art or fix street? Massive artwork damaged in Russia’s Urals days after completion (PHOTOS)

Keep art or fix street? Massive artwork damaged in Russia’s Urals days after completion (PHOTOS)
A large street art, citing the Suprematism manifesto by Kazimir Malevich, was partially covered with asphalt just a few days after its completion in the Russian Urals. Local authorities blamed the incident on “miscommunication.”

The artwork – a large black and red cross, containing Malevich’s quotes, was completed in the city of Ekaterinburg by a Russian street artist, going by the alias Pokras Lampas, last week. Road workers showed up on the square early on Friday and managed to cover a part of it with the black substance before higher authorities stopped them.

The cross, measuring a whopping 6,686 square meters, is painted on a square located near the Uralmash factory – one of the country’s largest producers of heavy machinery. It’s a perfect location for a Suprematist display, according to the artist, since the industrial history – and feel – of the whole city fit well with the esthetics of the early 20th century.

The art piece, created with the help of some 20 volunteers, came about as a part of a local street art festival. Since the art was commissioned by local authorities, the attempt to cover it up with asphalt a few days after its creation was quite puzzling. The artist said he was “baffled” by the incident – he used a little bit stronger language though – but promised to come to Ekaterinburg again and fix the display.

The region’s governor, Yevgeniy Kuyvashev, reacted angrily to the incident, stating that the city is “proud of its street art” and the whole affair is “outrageous.” The governor vowed to find out who greenlighted the roadworks and facilitate fixing the artwork.

The mayor’s office explained that the roadworks were needed to fix the pedestrian crossing at the square, since local residents had repeatedly complained about its condition. Still, it admitted the destruction of the art was not acceptable and blamed the incident on “certain unscrupulous workers.” The head of the district where the artwork is located, Roman Kravchenko, promised to fix the “issue” and blamed the “cover-up” on “miscommunication” between various city services.

To be fair, the square was not in pristine condition, but it is covered with tiles and simply smearing them with asphalt might not be a very sound construction strategy.

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