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    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Putin - Art or Entertainment?

    In Greek mythology, Heracles, or Hercules, the son of Zeus, performed 12 labours: a dozen incredibly difficult and highly dangerous tasks.

    But slaying the Neamean lion or battling the Lernaean hydra must have been a walk in the park, compared to what Vladimir Putin has had to deal with. At least, that's the impression you get from this bizarre exhibition.


    The original 12 Labours of Hercules were acts of penance and toil performed by the Greek hero. To mark Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday, Hercules' tasks have been given a Russian makeover. Mythical monsters have been replaced by modern monstrosities such as terrorism.

    Mr Putin grapples with the multi-headed hydra... of Western sanctions. The EU, US, Canada and Japan imposed sanctions after accusing Russia of supplying separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine with heavy weapons and soldiers - an accusation Russia denies.

    Mr Putin is depicted stopping Western intervention in Syria - a reference to Russia's veto at a UN Security Council vote in 2012. The exhibition has been organised by the Vladimir Putin Supporters Group on Facebook. The artists however, are a mystery.

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    "They want to remain anonymous," explained one of the group's members, Mikhail Antonov, to the BBC. The images were a special birthday present for the president, he added. In this painting, Mr Putin fights off the horses of corruption.

    But Herculean leadership isn't all about military prowess - or so these paintings seem to try to indicate. Here Mr Putin is celebrated as the hero of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

    Destroying the not-so-mythical "oligarch beasts". When Mr Putin came to power in 2000 he vowed to destroy Russia's oligarchs as a "class".

    This painting of Mr Putin riding a fearsome Crimean ox refers to the peninsula's breakaway from Ukraine and annexation by Russia in March 2014.

    More entertainment ...BBC News - In pictures: The 12 Labours of... Putin

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