German Rifle to Be Erased From New Kalashnikov Monument
Zykov Kirill / Moskva News Agency
A brand new monument to the inventor of the AK-47 automatic rifle in central Moscow will undergo renovations after a historian revealed a weapon depicted on the statue was a German design.
The 35 million ruble ($538,000) monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov was unveiled by Russia’s Culture Minister and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday morning.
The monument’s general commissioner Vladislav Kononov confirmed the statue features a German-designed StG 44 and that the design will be removed, the Moskva News Agency reported Friday.
“We have pointed this out to its sculptor Salavat Shcherbakov,” Kononov was quoted saying. “He is at the site and is going to dismantle the plate because indeed he and his assistant have confused something.”
The gold statue depicts Kalashnikov brandishing his trademark assault rifle.
A series of modified AK-47 rifles are etched on a metallic plate that sits behind the statue, including a diagram of what was later revealed to be the German StG 44, designed during World War II.
Moscow-based military historian Yuri Pasholok revealed Thursday in a Facebook post that the rifle diagram etched into the plate is an exact replica of the diagram for the StG rifle.
“Just don’t say that this was an accident,” Pasholok wrote. “One should be beaten, painfully and publicly, for something like this. These are boy-sculptors, dammit!”
Scherbakov acknowledged the discrepancy the same day, admitting that it was a mistake.
“This is a very small background thing,” the sculptor was quoted saying by the RBC news outlet. “I even wonder how they noticed it. We took [the image] from a source where it was written 'Kalashnikov assault rifle.'”
In 2014 the sculptor was embroiled in scandal after a German Mauser 98 rifle was mistakenly depicted on his monument of a Soviet soldier leaving for the front.