February 1992

“We buy figureheads, busts, portraits, banners—at high prices”

Moscow author amasses a collection of depictions of Lenin and Stalin before they are destroyed

Writer and journalist Valentin Lavrov SPUTNIK / Alamy Stock Photo

This advertisement has been appearing in the Moscow papers. A unique personal collection has been started by Moscow author Valentin Lavrov. Visitors to his dacha are surprised to see the two-metre high statue of Stalin which stands by the entrance. His collection includes the work of many different artists, especially sculptures from Tomsk, whose Lenins and Stalins were being scattered all over Europe a few months ago. “It’s a pity to damn those whom we were not bold enough to damn during their lifetimes” says Lavrov. “A passion for destruction is unworthy of civilised man. At an artworks collective in the south of Moscow they are now removing statues from all over the city and breaking them up with a sledgehammer. I have decided to put together my own collection in spite of this destructive herd instinct.”                                                          

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 15 February 1992