"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)
Ralph Hotere 1931–2013 "was one of New Zealand's leading abstract artists, well known for his enigmatic, black painted surfaces stripped with luminous lines of color. He was not a strict formalist or wary of content. When an aluminium smelter was proposed for the Aramoana wetland, he famously nailed protest works on local telephone poles, painted on corrugated iron. And although his message was never explicit, his black paintings emerged at the height of the Civil Rights movement and suggested themes of historical crisis: war, nuclear testing, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Apartheid. With an understated gravitas unusual in protest art, Hotere demanded that his work speak for itself.
Although Hotere did not want to be pigeonholed as a 'Māori artist,' his works were steeped in the spiritual world of his ancestors. He was one of the first generation of Māori artists in New Zealand who, with quiet perseverance, forged a path for subsequent generations of artists by establishing a distinctive visual vocabulary that would be influential to both Māori and Pakeha (European) artists alike."
(Andrew Clifford, 1 March 2013, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine)
Fig.1 Ralph Hotere with his Black Phoenix installation at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2000. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.