Exploding Stalin



This image shows the Otakar Svec monument to Stalin in Prague, exploding. It was unveiled in 1955 taking over five years to complete. Not only was it the largest statue of Stalin ever to be built, it was the largest group sculpture in Europe during its existence. The monument had a reinforced-concrete structure faced with 235 granite blocks, weighing 17,000 tonnes and costing 140 million crowns to complete. Stalin is depicted flanked by proud communist workers, symbolizing a devotion to his leadership that was not felt among the people. It showed a stark contrast to the oppressive Soviet regime in Prague. After hate mail from the public and pressure from the secret police shortly before the unveiling Otakar Svec and his wife tragically committed suicide. The drawing is made from a photograph that was taken during its destruction in 1962. The moment captured is symbolic of regime change, a change that was not to happen for another 28 years.