A mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin as Greek mythological figure Atlas has resurfaced in a BBC dispatch from a town in the Moscow region published Wednesday.
The mural, which shows the well-toned Putin wearing nothing but a loincloth, appeared on the side of a nine-story apartment block in the ancient town of Kolomna in honor of the president’s 67th birthday last fall.
Its author told local media that he portrayed the Russian president as Atlas, the mythical Greek titan who carries the heavens on his shoulders, because he views Putin as a peacemaker.
“Atlas held the heavens, the world. And Putin supports peace,” artist Ivan Pchelin said in an Oct. 7 interview, using the Russian word mir, which translates as both “peace” and “world.”
To bring home the point, Pchelin captioned his art piece: “You support the world, the world supports you.”
The BBC drew other parallels between Atlas and Putin.
“Atlas was famed for his endurance. So is Mr. Putin: he's been in power in Russia for 20 years,” the broadcaster said.