'Worker and Kolkhoz Woman' – Moscow, Russia - Atlas Obscura

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'Worker and Kolkhoz Woman'

An iconic Soviet statue of working-class people. 


This sculpture was made by Vera Mukhina in 1937 for the World Fair in Paris. It was meant to overshadow the Nazi German pavilion that was located opposite to Russian pavilion in the fair. In the end, both pavilions won a prize, to keep the political balance.

After this event, the pavilion was moved to Moscow and was finally placed in front of the vast VDNKh complex. After the latest renovations, the whole sculpture complex is 58 meters (190 feet) tall with the two steel figures 24.5 meters (80 feet) high. This makes it to be the fifth-tallest statue in Russia.

The duo was to represent the eternal union of the working class and peasantry in the Soviet Union. This was a perfect combination to be used later as a propaganda token. The sculpture was chosen to be an official emblem of the Mosfilm cinema studio in 1947. It featured in the opening titles of every movie produced by the studio so everybody who has watched Soviet movies immediately recognizes this couple holding hammer and sickle.

Know Before You Go

Pavillion under the sculpture works as an art museum.

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