The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 26, 2019

Russians praise 'Herculean' Putin on birthday
People visit the "12 Labors of Putin" art exhibition on October 6, 2014, marking the 62th birthday of Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the design workshop in Moscow. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV.

By: Anna Smolchenko

MOSCOW (AFP).- Russian President Vladimir Putin marked his 62nd birthday roaming the Siberian wilderness on Tuesday, as supporters compared his takeover of Crimea to a Herculean labour and 100,000 marched in Chechnya in his honour.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had taken a day off from his "extremely intense" schedule to celebrate his birthday in the depths of Siberia.

"This place is some 300 to 400 kilometres (roughly 180 to 250 miles) away from the nearest settlement," Peskov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid, saying the president worked virtually around the clock and needed a breather.

"He will rest," he said, declining to say whether Putin would have company.

The president is riding a wave of popular support following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March, and ordinary Russians, ex-Soviet leaders and Ukrainian separatists sang his praises on Tuesday.

Festivities this year had all the hallmarks of the slavish adulation that has marked Putin's birthdays of past, even as Russia's economy reels from several rounds of Western sanctions.

More than 100,000 people, decked out in the colours of the Russian flag, marched in the president's honour in the Chechen capital of Grozny, led by Kremlin-backed regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov who carried a portrait of Putin.

Supporters in Moscow staged an exhibition of paintings designed to symbolise Putin's achievements, comparing them to the "12 Labours of Hercules", the demigod of Greek mythology renowned for his strength.

The paintings depict Putin, dressed in a toga and armed with a sword, taking over Crimea, a feat compared to capturing the Cretan Bull. His anti-corruption campaign was compared to Hercules' cleaning of the Augean Stables.

Post-modernist personality cult
The list of the Russian leader's achievements extolled in the exhibition is topped by the most difficult labour of all -- standing up to the United States, which is compared to the battle against the mythological, multi-headed dog Cerberus.

Prominent Russians like the pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva posted online pictures of themselves wearing T-shirts with Putin images, while one man pledged to swim across the frigid Siberian river of Ob, with a Russian banner in hand.

"Since Putin's last birthday Russia under his leadership has made a leap into a political 'terra incognita'," the mass-circulation daily Moskovsky Komsomolets trumpeted, saying he would remain "indispensable" for the country.

Political analyst Sergei Medvedev said the festivities were part of "a personality cult in its mild post-modernist form."

"This cult comes from below and those above are not putting up any obstacles," he told AFP.

Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine, praised Putin for the protection of the "Russian world" and supporting rebels in the ex-Soviet country.

Putin celebrated his birthday last year by quaffing vodka with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in Bali where his Indonesian host Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also sang him a song.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi were among the statesmen who sent their greetings on Tuesday, said the Kremlin.

Greetings from Ukraine
But not everyone was celebrating. Critics attacked Putin online, while wry commentators wondered on Twitter whether he could remain in the Siberian woods for good.

Meanwhile some 50 journalists and activists gathered in Moscow to remember murdered anti-Kremlin reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down eight years ago in the Russian capital on Putin's birthday in 2006.

In Ukraine, where contempt for the Russian president runs high, the 1+1 television channel compiled a collection of profanity-laced Twitter messages and Internet memes.

"For the first time in his life the president of Russia is damned by the country of 47 million," said one tweet, referring to Ukraine.

A Ukrainian activist group dubbed "the Maidan of Foreign Affairs" -- a reference to the uprising that ousted a Kremlin-backed president in February -- launched an online petition to "congratulate" Putin.

"Some dictators flee like Idi Amin of Uganda and Mobutu Sese Seko from Congo. Others die, sometimes with a painful death, like Mussolini and Kadhafi," said the group.

"What fate will you choose for yourself?"

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

October 8, 2014

Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

After success of inaugural sale in December 2013, Christie's commits to annual sale in Mumbai

Frank Gehry's first major retrospective in Europe opens at the Centre Pompidou

Early work from height of Robert Ryman's most sought-after period to be offered at Sotheby's

VITRARIA Glass +A Museum: A new Palazzo for Contemporary Art in Venice opens its doors

An ancient ritual bath and graffiti left by Australian soldiers during the WWII were exposed at Ha-Ela Junction

Christie's New York announces highlights from its Prints & Multiples Sale

On the 5th anniversary of the death of Craigie Aitchison, Lund Humphries publishes comprehensive survey

With 200,000 visitors a year, Belgium comic museum marks 25 years of high art

ContiniArtUK announces that celebrated master sculptor Igor Mitoraj dies at age 70

Exhibition comprised of two pivotal works by Dan Flavin and Alex Israel opens at Nahmad Contemporary

The Mart in Rovereto tackles the hardest, most afflicted and thorny of issues: War

The Huntington enriches British paintings collection with 'The Three Witches' by Fuseli

ROSPHOTO: State Museum and Exhibition Centre for Photography opens Martin Parr's 'Life's a Beach'

On point: The 4th Annual Arts of the Samurai Auction set to engulf Bonhams New York

Russians praise 'Herculean' Putin on birthday

University of Richmond Museums opens 'Minna Citron: The Uncharted Course From Realism to Abstraction'

Waterhouse & Dodd announces a retrospective exhibition of work by Maurice Cockrill

'Another Life, Another World - Paul Nash: Watercolours, 1910-1946' opens at Piano Nobile

FotoFocus launches the FotoFocus Biennial 2014: Photography in Dialogue

Turps Art School finds new premises; Keith Coventry donates painting

Sotheby's Hong Kong Fine Chinese Paintings Autumn Sale 2014 achieves US$60 Million

Kinetica Art Fair to be held 16th-19th October at The Old Truman Brewery, London

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Newly restored Titian's Rape of Europa set to be reunited with accompanying works

2.- Krannert Art Museum acquires complete works of conceptual gay photographer Hal Fischer

3.- The Met's Rock & Roll exhibition reaches a milestone 500,000 visitors

4.- A new species of giant penguin has been identified from fossils

5.- Fondation Phi pour l'art contemporain exhibits works by pioneering artist Yoko Ono

6.- Comprehensive exhibition of Elfie Semotan's work on view at C/O Berlin

7.- 'Easy Rider' star Peter Fonda dead at 79

8.- Major exhibition explores the romantic fascination with the Scottish Highlands

9.- Meet the Ercolines, the Woodstock lovebirds whose hug made history

10.- Dallas Museum of Art re-opens European Galleries after total reinstallation

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful