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Kazakh City Gets Monument To Soviet Rock Legend Viktor Tsoi

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Viktor Tsoi

QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- A monument to Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi has been unveiled in the Kazakh city of Qaraghandy.

The late musician's father was on hand for the ceremony on August 26.

Tsoi and his group, Kino, were extremely popular in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

His songs stand as symbols of the hopes for freedom and political change.

He died in a car crash on August 15, 1990.

The monument in Qaraghandy is made of iron sheets that form the silhouette at the moment of a solar eclipse, with Tsoi's features cut into the center of the composition.

An image of the solar eclipse was on the cover of Tsoi's last album, The Star Named The Sun, which was released weeks before his death.

Tsoi recorded the hit song by the same name in Almaty, then Kazakhstan’s capital, in 1988.

Tsoi's father, Robert Tsoi, who was born in Kazakhstan in 1938, said at the ceremony that he had never seen such a large monument to his son.

"I want to express gratitude for such an honor," he said. "Discussions have been under way for some 20 years to erect a monument in St. Petersburg, but I do not know if they are going to do it."

Almaty authorities said earlier this year that they plan to unveil a monument to Tsoi this autumn.

It is to be put up in the area where the blockbuster film Igla (The Needle), in which Tsoi played the main character, was shot in 1988 by Kazakh director Rashid Nugmanov.

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