Russia protests Latvian statue it says depicts Putin on a cross
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||16 May 2015|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia protests Latvian statue it says depicts Putin on a cross, 16 May 2015, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5565bab015.html [accessed 15 December 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
May 16, 2015
Russia May 15 protested a Latvian artwork that it said depicts Russian President Vladimir Putin on a cross and encourages passersby to drive nails into the statue.
The Russian Embassy in Latvia sent a note to the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing "extreme indignation and disgust" over the statue, which is in an open-air area of the former Soviet KGB building in RIga, the Embassy said on its Facebook page.
"We consider unacceptable the appearance of this kind of provocation 'arts' in the capital of the country currently taking over the
presidency of the EU Council," it said.
A Latvian Foreign Ministry official told Baltkom Radio that the artwork does not actually depict Putin or any other real person, and should be judged only by art critics and professionals.
Latvia, a post-Soviet Baltic republic, has a Russian ethnic population of around 26 percent. Russia claims that Latvian authorities discriminate against their Russian-speaking community.