When the Evil Empire folded, this statue of Comrade Lenin was left to gather pigeon droppings in an Odessa factory square until Ukraine passed a law condemning satues of its former Soviet overlords to the ash heap of history.
While many friendly local Stalins and Lenins got hammer & sickle haircuts from indignant proles, this one's neighbors asked: why waste a good bronze casting?
So Odessa hired post-Marxist artist Alexander Milov to give the great communitarian role model a makeover, and he turned the former Red Square into a WiFi hot spot by planting some trees and transforming Vladimir Illych into Darth Vader with a router in his helmet :
The October unveiling ceremony brought out Ukrainians dressed as Chewbacca, as imperial Stormtroopers, and as Lord Vader himself. (The latter delivered a speech...)
Milov, a proponent of the heritage-not-hate school of art appreciation, says that if it were up to him, the old Communist monuments wouldn't be demolished. Instead, "I want to take the statues out of the central squares of cities and put them in a different place like Disneyland, where they can be visited," he told the BBC in October.
"It seems to me that if these statues are destroyed, people coming after us will have no possibility to make conclusions for themselves as to whether people needed them or not."
And if he can't preserve the stone Communists as they were? In that case, he said, he'd go a step beyond his Star Wars fan art. "I would turn them into characters from Soviet cartoons."