1993

Proposal for a statue of Matias Rust

Oil paint on canvas, mounted on an existing billboard Painting executed by Ivan Razumov

Proposal for a statue of Matias Rust

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— A call to the public to fill the many empty bases, formerly supporting statues of communist heroes, with alternative figures.

Large size painting shown on a billboard in Central Moscow, made by a classically trained Russian painter. Depicting a future statue of the young Mathias Rust to be erected at this location. The painting was stolen within twenty-four hours, never to be found again.


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— Mathias Rust (born July 1968 in Wedel, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany) is a German male known for his illegal landing near Red Square in Moscow in 1987, he was then 19 years old. As an amateur aviator, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors, which never received permission to shoot him down, and several times mistaken for a friendly aircraft, he landed on Vasilevski Spusk next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the USSR. Rust's intentions, as he stated, were to create an "imaginary bridge" to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides. Rust's successful flight through a supposedly impregnable air defense system had a great impact on the Soviet military and led to the firing of many senior officers, including Defence Minister Sergei Sokolov. The incident enabled Mikhail Gorbachev to speed his reforms (by removing numerous military officials opposed to him), and reduced the prestige of the Soviet military among the population, thus helping bring an end to the Cold War.