Mariupol mosaic honoring space pioneers latest Russian target in occupied city
Photo: Misto Mariupol

In the temporarily occupied Mariupol, the Russians began to dismantle the "Communication House". Together with the building, the occupation authorities will destroy Victor Arnautoff's unique mosaic "Conquerors of Space", reported the Mariupol City Council.

"According to local media reports, the occupiers have started dismantling the building. With its demolition, the unique work of monumental art 'Conquerors of Space' by Victor Arnautoff from Mariupol will be destroyed," the message reads.

Фото: Маріупольська міська рада
Photo: Mariupol City Council

"Conquerors of Space" is one of three works by Victor Arnautoff. Mosaic is located in the very center of Mariupol, and its area covers about 100 square meters.

The monumental panel on the "Communication Building" appeared in 1964. It became the second mosaic in the city. It is believed that this panel was the beginning of monumental art.

The mosaic is dedicated to the space theme popular in the '60s and tells about the work of signalmen. It depicts a group of scientists preparing for the launch of a rocket. You can also see a microphone in the hand of one of them, and all the characters are communicating with each other.

"For the Russians and collaborators, there is no value in the history and culture of our hometown. They destroyed museums, mosaics, historical buildings. Everything that we carefully valued and preserved," the city council said.

Фото: Маріупольська міська рада
Photo: Mariupol City Council

Victor Arnautoff is a Ukrainian monumental artist. He was born in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and spent all his childhood and youth in Mariupol. During the First World War, he fought on the side of the tsarist army, after the defeat of which he emigrated to China, and from there to the United States.

The artist created panels for the subway and the World Library in San Francisco, taught at Stanford and worked with the Mexican monumentalist Diego Rivera.

In 1963, after the death of his wife and retirement, Arnautoff returned to Mariupol, where he created three works: "From the Scythians to Space" at the Mariupol Airport, a mosaic on the facade of school No. 54, and "Conquerors of Space."