As many already know, this is one of my favorite things in all of Moscow.  At 78 feet tall and made of stainless steel, much like my hometown Gateway Arch, it was designed by Vera Mukhina for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, and then later packed up and moved to Moscow.  Considered a combination of Socialist Realism and Art Deco design (Seriously, does it get any better??) it depicts a powerful worker holding aloft a hammer, and a collective farmer peasant woman holding a sickle with him to form the infamous symbol of the USSR.  At the World's Fair, the sculpture crowned the top of the Soviet pavilion, and perhaps fittingly was located right across from the German pavilion, which consisted of a massive tower topped with an eagle and swastika.

  The statue after being returned to Moscow was placed in the North near VDNK, a massive complex that featured multiple pavilions and a huge park showing off Soviet economic and agricultural prowess.  Placed on a rather short 10m pedestal it was left there slowly decaying until 2003.  Removed for refurbishment, the plan was for it to return in 2005, however the World's Fair the statue was being prepped for was awarded to Shanghai, and thus the statue's return was delayed until November 2009.  That was when yours truly ventured out into the already cold Moscow weather to witness the fireworks, communist interviews, and general mayhem associated with the return of the statue on a more appropriate pavilion now much higher, and more like that from Paris, with a soon to be open museum right below it.      

  Love it or not, the design typifies the art used to inspire those who felt they were truly building Communism in one country, and thus moving ever forward into the bright and glorious future...       

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