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Chris Yunker via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Chris Yunker via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

A Seattle Neighborhood Has a Statue of Vladimir Lenin, and It's Up For Sale

Chris Yunker via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Chris Yunker via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you'd like to experience the public art of the Soviet Union, there's no need to travel to Eastern Europe. In Seattle's artsy Fremont neighborhood, there’s a monument to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. Despite efforts by its owners to sell it off, it’s been in Washington since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc (first in Issaquah, before moving to Seattle in 1995).

Considering Lenin’s legacy of oppression and mass executions, the 16-foot, seven-ton bronze statue doesn’t sit well with all residents. It was originally brought to Seattle by Lewis Carpenter, a Washington resident who saved it from the scrapyards of Poprad, Slovakia. Arguing that it was a work of art that deserved to be preserved, he purchased it and brought it back to the U.S.

Carpenter died in 1994, not long after shipping the statue to Issaquah, Washington, where he planned to install it in front of a restaurant he was set to open. A year later, it made its way to Seattle, where it was displayed as a piece of public art, just one block south of the Rocket, another Cold War relic-turned-artwork. Carpenter’s family still owns the statue of Lenin, but would love to get it off their hands. There’s an entire Facebook page devoted to tearing it down, and it’s regularly vandalized by people who paint the statue’s hands blood red.

In 1995, the statue was put up for sale for $150,000, with the proceeds scheduled to benefit a local arts organization, but no buyer came forward. By 2015, the price had been raised to $250,000—or best offer, as the The Seattle Times reported. Whether it will actually ever be sold is another question.

“Who can say for sure if the community would accept a check for the sale of Lenin if offered? The sculpture has found a home in Fremont,” the Fremont Arts Council’s Barbara Luecke told mental_floss in an email. However, if anyone did actually want to pay the $250,000 that an art appraiser decided the statue was worth, “any proceeds from its sale would help with the maintenance of the various art projects around the neighborhood,” she says.

Until then, the statue serves as a handy guidepost for local directions (“keep going until you see Lenin” cannot be misunderstood), and occasionally gets new additions, like a tutu for the annual gay pride parade or a tinfoil-wrapped burrito to hold as an advertisement for the nearby Mexican restaurant.

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8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
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Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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