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The monument was defaced in June 2010 when the soldiers were painted as Superman, Ronald McDonald, Santa Claus and other capitalist/pop culture American icons.
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The monument was again defaced in August 2012 when it was briefly outfitted with balaclavas in tribute to the jailed Russian feminist art-band activists of Pussy Riot.
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The monument was defaced in August 2013, when it was sprayed entirely in hot pink and tagged with the words “Prague ’68."
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AFP Photo/Nikolay Doychinov
The monument was defaced in February 2014 with the colours of the Ukrainian flag, in solidarity with the revolution and the deadly protests in the former Soviet Republic.
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Photo by My Name is Scot.
In the centre of Sofia, there is a large park, with an impressive structure called The Monument to the Soviet Army. Our guide tells us that many Bulgarians want it to be removed from the park. But for years now, nothing has been done, and the monument sits among other layers of history in what the Rough Travel Guide to Bulgaria describes as “ruin-laden” Sofia.
All over Sofia there are ruins of some historical age, including the archeological dig of Serdica, a Thracian settlement. The ruins of Serdica are covered by the ruins of roman baths that were built on top of Serdica. Nearby are the crypts of the famous St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, completed in 1912. The crypts house an amazing collection of icons dating back to the 4th century AD. All of these sites are bookended by the dead weight of defunct communist structures.
Surrounding the city centre are signs of a new era. There is much talk about the public buildings that have been “stolen,” former state institutions that were ‘gifted’ to private developers. Entire buildings are wrapped in chocolate bar ads and images of Lady Gaga hawking Versace. All this capitalist excess situated throughout one of the poorest countries in the EU.
The Monument to the Soviet Army is an imposing structure. It is now a place for skaters to hang out; a number of young artists have been intervening with the structure. Several times the monument has been defaced. The stoic soldiers have been painted to look like American super heroes and Ronald McDonald.
I think the monument to the Soviet Army should stay and take its place with all of the other ruins in the ruin-laden Sofia. And maybe one day, the Milka Bubbly chocolate bar banners and the larger than life images of Lady Gaga will also take their place and become ruins in ruin-laden Sofia.