World’s Worst Piece of Public Art

Friday 9th December 2011, 3.15pm (day 106)

Peter the Great, 9/12/11

Day off today. I went to see some excellent art in the Pushkin museum, including a Caravaggio exhibition. Now I don’t know a great deal about art but Caravaggio seems to me someone who really knows about lighting and movement. His paintings are 400 years old but look like they could be freeze-frames from modern movies. He’s a long way ahead of his contemporaries. However, for most of the time after his death in 1610 he was forgotten.

This, on the other hand, is Tsereteli’s monumental statue of Peter the Great by the Moscow River. It cost millions of roubles and can be seen for miles around. it looks like something my 8-year-old son would draw and every Muscovite I have spoken to about it, hates it. Tsereteli is a big mate of the mayor of Moscow, Mr Luzhkov, which may, or of course may not, explain why this monstrosity exists.

Somehow I suspect that in 400 years’ time, only one of these artists is going to be remembered.

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