Russian officials have pledged to fire workers who destroyed a piece of modern art the size of a small football pitch by accidentally covering it with tarmac.
St Petersburg-based artist Pocras Lampas spent days creating the giant piece in Yekaterinburg’s Perviy Pyatletki Square for the city’s annual Stenograffia graffiti festival. The artwork was the festival’s largest creation, and spelled out quotes by Russian artist Kazmir Malevich in letters the size of cars.
Local workmen, however, arrived in the area just hours after the work was finished and began pouring asphalt over the mural. Builders told concerned pedestrians that they’d been ordered to level the square’s uneven paving slabs, Russia’s TJournal news outlet reported.
City bureaucrats were quick to react, with local governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev describing the blunder as “outrageous,” while Yekaterinburg mayor Alexander Vysokinsky pledged that “those responsible would get what’s coming to them”.
Artist Pokras Lampas has already pledged to recreate the work, making it “even better than before.”
“I’m glad that modern art is increasingly difficult to crush under a bulldozer, cover with asphalt, erase, or destroy,” he wrote on Instagram. “We will restore everything. Many thanks to everyone who has supported our project throughout this unpleasant incident.”