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Photographer's Note

Sofia, Capital of Bulgaria. The Soviet Army Monument was built in 1954 and this is one of the best examples of socialist sculpture in the Bulgaria, and also one of the most controversial. Very hight with 34 meters, it is crowned by a flamboyant statue of a Red Army soldier leading a Bulgarian couple towards the Promised Land of communism. Bronze bas-reliefs on either side of the pillar show scenes from the October revolution, World War II battles, and Soviet troops entering Bulgaria to be greeted joyfully by the locals.

In 1993 Sofia City Council voted to destroy the monument, pointing out quite rightly that it symbolized Bulgaria痴 subservience to a foreign power. Faced by opposition from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and discouraged by the potential cost of its demolition, the Council had no choice but to leave the monument as it is. For much of the last decade the area around the monument has become the favoured meeting point of Sofia痴 skateboarders, although construction work on the Sofia metro has recently encroached on their space. Turn up on important dates like May 9 (the anniversary of Germany痴 surrender in 1945) or September 9 (anniversary of Bulgaria痴 communist-led coup in 1944) and you値l probably see die-hard communists gathering at the monument to demonstrate their undying faith in the cause.

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Additional Photos by Ricardo Centellas (riceal) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 1 N: 49] (319)
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