Roscosmos, Russia’s national space agency, tweeted a photo taken from Earth’s orbit of a massive portrait of President Vladimir Putin etched into a field in Italy.
“We wanted to check whether or not [this portrait of] Putin is visible from outer space,” said a Roscosmos official, as reported by the RBC news agency, adding that a Resurs-P Earth observation satellite took the photo from 475 kilometers (285 miles) above the planet’s surface.
Italian artist Dario Gambarin used a tractor to create the 25,000 square meter portrait on a farm near Verona. The art piece was meant as a show of support for the Russian leader on the eve of last week’s G20 meeting in Hamburg.
“Why did I decide to depict Vladimir Putin? Because I believe in his major diplomatic experience, which he can put to use at the G20 meeting,’’ said Gambarin in an interview with RBC. “A politician such as Putin can help new world leaders establish a durable balance in the world and solve current problems.”
The meeting of the world’s 20 major industrial nations ran for two days – July 7 and 8. During the first day, Putin spent more than two hours speaking with U.S. President Donald Trump.
In 2009 Gambarin created a similar earthwork portrait of U.S. President Barack Obama, and one of Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.