City Duma to Wait on Statue for Putin

The Moscow City Duma monuments commission has rejected a proposal to erect a statue of President Vladimir Putin in central Moscow, with one official saying it was an issue for "future generations."

The commission reached the decision Tuesday evening after receiving a detailed written proposal from Moscow resident Semyon Perfilyev.

Perfilyev identified himself as a construction engineer, inventor, publicist, poet and architect in his proposal, a City Duma spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"This was a somewhat unwell person," she said, asking to remain anonymous in order to avoid being seen as defaming Perfilyev.

She added that the commission was required by law to consider each written proposal.

Commission head Lev Lavryonov said it was premature to erect a Putin monument, Interfax reported.

"In civilized countries, the importance of social and political leaders is determined 50 years after their departure from power," Lavryonov was quoted as saying. "Let us leave this question to future generations."

Perfilyev had told commission members that the statue should be erected in honor of Putin's "extraordinary historic services," as well as his 55th birthday last October.

He suggested placing the statue on Teatralnaya Ploshchad, across from the Bolshoi Theater, in place of the Soviet-era Karl Marx monument that currently stands there.

He envisioned a bronze Putin standing atop a silvery hemisphere, about 20 or 25 meters in diameter, that would show a map of Russia and the other countries of the Northern Hemisphere. The president would be depicted wearing a long cloak and holding a scroll in his right hand, Perfilyev wrote.

"This is Putin's Plan," he said, explaining the scroll.

Although it rejected the Putin statue, the commission on Tuesday approved a monument to a famed Soviet-era clown.

The commission unanimously approved a monument to Mikhail Rumyantsev, better known by his stage name, Karandash, Interfax reported. The statue of Karandash was proposed by the Russian Circus Union, which said it would pay for the project.

Perfilyev is not the first person to propose a monument to Putin.

In 2004, ubiquitous sculptor Zurab Tsereteli unveiled a larger-than-life statue of Putin dressed in a judo uniform. After a chilly reaction from the Kremlin, the statue was left in Tsereteli's personal gallery in Moscow.