As our regular readers can attest, we all make mistakes from time to time. Typos, mis-stated stats, loading the wrong photo. When that happens, we fix it and move on. Electrons are cheap and rectifying those kinds of problems is easy. Not so much, though, when your medium is metal.
So imagine artist Salavat Shcherbakov’s chagrin when it was pointed out to him that part of his recently unveiled tribute to AK-47 designer Mikhail Kalashnikov — a monument the New York Times, in their characteristically restrained way, called a “monument to murder” — included a rifle he hadn’t created. Instead, the clueless sculptor had included an image of a rifle the hated Nazis used had against the motherland in the Great Patriotic War.
Workers on Friday cut out part of a new monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the Soviet Union’s legendary AK-47 assault rifle, after eagle-eyed Russians noticed that it mistakenly depicted a German weapon of World War Two.
Just three days ago, the monument to the creator of one of Russia’s best known export brands was unveiled with much fanfare in central Moscow.
A metal bas-relief behind a statue of Kalashnikov depicts the AK-47 and other weapons all supposedly designed by the engineer, who died in 2013.
And then someone noticed that one of the rifles attributed to Kalashnikov wasn’t Russian at all. It was an exploded view of a German Sturmgewehr 44, the original assault rifle.
“We will rectify this,” Shcherbakov said in comments broadcast by state-run Rossiya 24 channel. “It looks like this (mistake) sneaked in from the Internet.”
By Friday evening a square hole gaped where the German rifle had been depicted in the bas-relief.
How do you say faux pas in Russian?