A local sculptor wants to gift President Vladimir Putin a statue depicting the president’s head atop the body of a bear with angel wings and holding a fish in its paws.
The forged iron figure — dubbed “Mind, Strength and Soul” and sculpted over several months — is a metaphor for Russia, the sculptor told Astrakhan-based news website KaspyInfo.ru.
Viktor Korpachyov said that the sturgeon in Putin’s hands is a take on Astrakhan's regional symbol. The eagle that the bear is stepping on symbolizes Russia’s enemies, he added.
Although Korpachyov wanted to exhibit the monument formally, it is standing in an outdoor courtyard of a local residence.
In 2008, the Moscow City Duma monuments commission rejected a proposal to build a Putin statue in central Moscow, with one official saying it was a question for "future generations."
Four years earlier, sculptor Zurab Tsereteli crafted a statue of Putin in a judo outfit. The offering was coldly received by the Kremlin and was left to stand in the artist's personal gallery.