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Russia Protests Latvian Statue It Says Depicts Putin On A Cross

  • RFE/RL

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.