Concrete validation. Expert Andrey Kurilkin explains why Russian officials and billionaires are building monuments and buying doctorates

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As some countries face disputes over the demolition of monuments, others are seeing an increasing number of figures on pedestals popping up. In Moscow, the development of monument culture is especially intense. The December news cycle has featured a dispute over a memorial to actor Vladimir Etush, plans to create a monument to singer Iosif Kobzon, sculptor Zurab Tsreteli agreeing to memorialize actor Valentin Gaft, and the unveiling of the “Atom of the Sun” statue in memory of the Moscow Art Theater’s artistic director Oleg Tabakov. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs — an organization that unites the country’s billionaires — have been fighting against the “Last Address” project, an initiative aimed at memorializing the victims of Stalin’s Great Terror. For Meduza, producer and publisher Andrey Kurilkin, the director of the platform InLiberty and the author of the project “New Monuments for a New History,” explains what the creators of these new monuments want to tell society — and what they are causing people to forget. 



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