October 23, 2021

Defending a Mural to the Death


Defending a Mural to the Death
Igor Talkov made it onto a 1999 Russian postage stamp. Wikimedia Commons user Engelberthumperdink

The son of deceased rock musician Igor Talkov is defending to the death a mural painted of his father on a small transformer building (apparently called an "electrical substation" in English) in St. Petersburg.

Such ugly and awkward little buildings are often sites for murals – there is a famous Sergei Bodrov Jr. one in St. Petersburg. But this one near Pashkov House on Liteyny Prospekt is owned by Rosseti Lenenergo and was not preapproved.

The company has stated that it is not against all artwork on transformer booths, but that artists must go through the proper city channels in advance to have their artwork approved.

When Lenenergo employees showed up to paint over the mural, the musician's son was blocking it with his back to the building.

He told them, "I don't want a war, but if I start fighting, I don't know how to lose. I will protect my father's memory. I will defend it at the cost of my life."

He also said that he wants to handle this within the bounds of the law, but now that the mural is already there, it is not going anywhere.

Talkov senior died in 1991, at just 34. He was shot, many suspect, by his former manager, though the latter was never convicted and fled to Israel.

Talkov Jr. is asking all Pitertsy to band with him to protect the mural with their bodies. Signatures are being collected now for a petition, and the mural has been protected with "vandal-proof varnish."

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