ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — A huge three-dimensional art installation representing the storming of Berlin by the Soviet army in the closing days of World War II opened Tuesday in Russia's second-largest city.
The work includes a replica of a high wall fragment and columns of the Reichstag, surrounded by rubble, life-size figures of Soviet soldiers and historic weapons. In Russia, the seizure of the Reichstag has been widely seen as a symbolic redemption for the enormous suffering and losses in the war.
The opening in St. Petersburg comes as the nation prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
The installation has been created by a group of enthusiasts, who have searched the sites of historic battles to find and bury the remains of Soviet World War II victims.
Dmitri Poshtarenko, 24, who led the team said they chose the storming of Reichstag episode for their installation "because it is a very symbolic scene, particularly in the year of the anniversary of the victory."
Nikolai Belyayev, a 92-year-old WW II veteran, who visited the display, said it closely reproduced the storming which he took part in.