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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Life-Size Mel Gibson Statue To Go Up Next to Pushkin

A life-size bronze statue of movie star Mel Gibson will be erected on Moscow's Pushkin Square f competing with the existing bronze statue of Alexander Pushkin f to commemorate the Russian premiere of the movie "Lethal Weapon 4."

"It is a kind of ironic, hooligan act," said Igor Lebedev, a spokesman for the Carmen film distribution company, which has Russian distribution rights for Gibson's latest action vehicle. "We have some surprises in store for Muscovites. Any misgivings they have will be neutralized when the statue is unveiled."

The statue will represent Martin Riggs, the police officer hero Gibson plays in the "Lethal Weapon" films. Lebedev said it would be unveiled on Oct. 8 f the day after a planned nation-wide work stoppage to protest wage arrears to millions of Russian workers f and would be "the first of its kind in Europe and continental Asia."

Lebedev said the statue had been crafted in bronze by sculptors from St. Petersburg who in the past have worked on statues of Stalin and of the former mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak. Those sculptors have also worked on a likeness of Pushkin that is now on display in Tsarskoye Tselo, the summer residence of the tsars, which was known as Pushkin in the Soviet era.

Lebedev said his company also has plans to establish a park outside the square's Pushkinskaya movie theater, in which an array of bronze statues of Hollywood movie stars could be enshrined.

Pushkin Square has the status of a national historical monument, and Carmen is negotiating with the Moscow city government for permission to erect the statue. Even if the company is turned down, it will display the Gibson/Riggs statue temporarily, Lebedev said.

He added the company anticipates some opposition to its plans, and asked people to take the idea of the bronze statue as a joke.

The Russian Cultural Foundation could not be reached for comment late Friday. The Moscow city government also could not be reached for comment.