The art installations put on display at Mayday heroes memorial site featured Soviet-ear street soda vending machines, a children’s toy car and an ice cream fridge. There are also replicas of housing with Soviet-style decorations and furniture. The project was called out on by social media users who said it was ‘disgusting’ and hid portraits of the Maydan heroes at the memorial site.
The drawback on social media found support from Kyiv City Council representative Oleksandr Pohrebyskyi who arrived to the scene to file the report on use of Soviet regime imagery.
Pohrebyskyi also questioned permits of installation.
The incident drew swift response of Kyiv top authorities. Mayor Vitali Klitschko states he did not issue any permits for such a performance.
He denied involvement of city officials in organization of the event featuring the scandalous art installation claiming it was held by the President’s office.
‘We will not allow any ‘95 kvartal’ variety show at the place where the patriots died’, Klitschko stressed.
Later in the day, activists gathered at Independence Square and dismantled the installation.
На Алеї Героїв Небесної Сотні люди намагаються повалити декорації з радянським інтер'єром pic.twitter.com/k7tStlAfni
— hromadske (@HromadskeUA) August 17, 2021
The National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity issued a statment addressing the controversy at Mayday Memorial site saying no changes are allowed at the site without ‘approval’ from the Office of the Attorney General.
Kyiv police said they had no information regarding proper permits.
‘Police officers are checking the availability of permits to install the structure. After the inspection, the project will receive legal qualification’, the police statement says.
The protest at the memorial site was marked by scuffles with police.
As activists were dismantling the installation, the riot police began forcibly detaining and pushing them. Social media users called it as a ‘deja vu’ of Berkut beating and killing people in the center of Kyiv during the Revolution of Dignity.
The video shows police officers brutally strangling and beating the detained activist.
📹: Олександр Коломієць | Facebook pic.twitter.com/3lIgYIyr7O
— Букви (@Bykvu) August 17, 2021
Director Volodymyr Lodzinskyi, who is responsible for the art event planning, explained the idea of the installation was to show the stages of evolution of Ukrainian nation from the Trypillia period to the present claiming Soviet era was part of this process.
This is how Alley of the Heavenly Hundred looks after the incident.