Since 2015, Ukraine has been undergoing a process of “decommunisation” as Petro Poroshenko outlawed (among other things) communist monuments. Things were not looking good for this statue of Lenin in the courtyard of an Odessa factory. However, thanks to Ukrainian artist Alexander Milov (whose work you may have seen at Burning Man 2015) Lenin has been reimagined as Darth Vader.
The original bronze statue has been left inside, “so grateful or not so grateful descendants could exhume him” says the artist. Lenin has got a new titanium-alloy suit, and his helmet contains a wifi-router providing free internet access.
The statue is located in the courtyard of Stopova St, 28. Trolley bus 3 or mashrutka 233 will drop you outside the gates of the factory. There are two entrances to the courtyard – the first one I tried was beside this Soviet mosaic. When I asked the guard is I was allowed in, he said that you needed documents. I’m assuming he meant that only residents are allowed in the courtyard, but I’m not sure.
I then tried the Centre Pressmash building (to the left of the supermarket) and the guards were very happy to let me through. I was there on Saturday of the Easter Weekend and was still able to get in, so you shouldn’t have any trouble.
It’s unlikely that any of the security staff will speak English, but they will recognise the name “Darth Vader” (and if a bumbling English speaking person comes in, they’ll probably have a fair guess what you’re there for anyway).
There’s nothing else really of interest in the surrounding area, but I got a kick out of the silliness of the whole thing, and considering I have an interest in both Soviet relics and Star Wars, it seemed remiss of me not to go and have a look. Have you visited the world’s only monument to Darth Vader?