"The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet–era ally clean up the monument in Sofia's Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take 'exhaustive measures' to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.
The monument was spray–painted on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party's celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia–based Novinite news agency reported.
The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria – each drawing angry criticism from Moscow.
Early this year, unknown artists painted another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
In August last year, a Soviet army monument in Sofia was painted pink in an 'artistic apology' for Bulgaria's support of Soviet troops who suppressed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring revolt against Moscow–based communist rulers."
(Anna Dolgov, 19 August 2014, The Moscow Times)
"Matchbox labels from the former Eastern bloc often display a remarkable degree of sophistication, elegance and artistic quality. They were, at a time, the most convenient,efficient and powerful medium for visual communications. Although they were produced under strict state–controlled production processes; that were aimed at exploiting them as a means of publicizing political initiatives, promoting public health and safety, and selling the communist ideal both at home and abroad, the artists used them as a vehicle to experiment with various imaginative ideas and artistic techniques, achieving truly stunning results."
(Guity Novin – گیتی نوین (ناوران) – ا)