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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Intelligentsia Get a Statue

MTThe Pegasus statue to the intelligentsia standing near the Sakharov Center.
A new statue of a winged horse dedicated "to the Russian intelligentsia" has attracted puzzled reactions, with one of its sculptors saying the statue depicts intellectuals as "spongers."

Alfa Bank and the Union of Right Forces political party sponsored the monument, a copper Pegasus flying over bent iron and wounded by arrows, which was unveiled Tuesday outside the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Social Center.

One of the statue's sculptors, Galina Shilina, said on NTV television that the Pegasus figure represents "people who eat well, but do not work hard -- spongers."

She said the arrows were made out of rusty iron, "a very nice material."

Museum director Yury Samodurov said he did not like the idea of the statue.

Samodurov is one of three human rights advocates connected with the Sakharov Center who went on trial last month on charges of inciting religious hatred in a controversial art exhibition called "Caution, Religion."

The statue was originally intended to be inscribed "in honor" of the intelligentsia. Later, the inscription was changed to read "in memory" of the intelligentsia, then simply "to the Russian intelligentsia," NTV reported.