A sculpture of Russian actor Yevgeny Leonov that vanished on Friday from its spot opposite the Mosfilm movie studio in western Moscow was found dismantled the next day at a scrap metal dealership in northern Moscow, the Vechernaya Moskva newspaper reported Saturday.
A criminal investigation has been launched into the theft of the sculpture, and the suspects have already been detained. A separate criminal case has been opened against the scrap metal dealer workers who dismantled the sculpture, Vechernaya Moskva reported.
Yevgenia Chernyshyova, the sculptor who created the monument, said she would be able to make a replica of it. “People are used to it. Whether it is bad or good, [we] should put the same thing there,” she told the Business FM radio station Saturday.
According to the police, damages amount to an estimated 160,000 rubles ($2,600), news agency M24 reported. But the sculptor Chernyshyova disagreed, saying making a new copy of the monument would cost ten times more at around 1.6 million rubles ($26,000).
The sculpture depicts Leonov in one of his most beloved roles, an assistant professor in the Soviet comedy caper “Gentlemen of Fortune.”
“Just the bronze will cost around half a million, if not more. Just the materials. Even back then [when it was made] the sculpture was expensive,” Chernyshyova told the Business FM radio station.
The bronze sculpture in honor of the film and theater actor was unveiled on the “Walk of Movie Stars” in 2001. The sculpture bears the distinct and symbolic prison tattoos Leonov sported for the role.