Scaffolding surrounds the vast clay sculpture-in-progress inside a warehouse on Moscow’s outskirts, yet already the statue of Vladimir the Great has caused an outcry as big as the monument itself. The 24-metre (78-feet) high likeness of the man who brought Christianity to Kievan Rus — the forerunner of modern Russia and Ukraine — is set to tower over the capital, the latest potent symbol in a surge of patriotism taking hold in Russia. Prince Vladimir is revered as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church and a hero by others, including the noted sculptor of the work, Salavat Shcherbakov. But not all Moscow agrees. ‘Vladimir is our founding father,’ Shcherbakov told AFP, comparing the 10th-century leader to America’s George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. ‘He’s a figure whom the people, the country, can rely on. And he is important right now,’ he said, working

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