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Ukrainian Protesters Are Auctioning Off the Nose of a Massive Lenin Statue

Lenin’s ears are also, reportedly, up for grabs

A protester holds the cut off nose of the statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin after it was toppled during a rally on the central square of eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, 28 September 2014. (SERGEI KOZLOV/epa/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

Tearing down statues of Vladimir Lenin has been a meme throughout the recent revolutionary uprising in Ukraine—more than 100 statues of the former Soviet leader have been felled since protests began. This past weekend protestors in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, pulled down an absolutely massive statue of Lenin, 28 feet and thousands of pounds of moustachioed bronze. And now, some Ukrainians are selling off parts of the statue to raise money to support the ongoing fighting, says the Guardian.

 A man in a ski mask, for instance, pitched Lenin's nose:

If there is anyone who says, ‘I am ready, let’s say, to provide a battalion of soldiers with winter underwear and uniforms,’ then we will give him [the nose],” he said. “That is, if no one says, better yet, that he’s ready to provide two battalions with the things I have mentioned.”

Lenin's ears are also, reportedly, up for grabs.

It's been more than two months since the Ukrainian military embarked on the mission to retake Donetsk, a city in the eastern part of the country that was seized by separatist pro-Russian rebels back in April. In the past day, rebel tanks lobbed shells at the government-controlled Donetsk airport.

The sellers are not raising money for the Ukrainian military, but rather for anti-Russian volunteer fighters. The mayor of Kharkiv, for what it's worth, has decried the toppling of the statue and pledges to either restore or replace it.

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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