St. Petersburg Communists Fail to Ban a Show of Sylvester Stallone’s Paintings

Getty Images
Sylvester Stallone

An exhibition of the "Rambo" actor's work is on display at one of the country’s best-known art institutions.

MOSCOW -- St. Petersburg communists have unsuccessfully tried to ban an exhibition of paintings by Sylvester Stallone, calling him “an embodiment of the U.S. military machine.”

An exhibition of Stallone’s paintings is on show at one of the country’s best-known art institutions, the State Russian Museum, featuring his works made between 1973 and 2013.

“For those who were born and raised in the Soviet Union, Rambo/Stallone will always be an embodiment of Cold War and the U.S. military machine, someone who kills countless Soviet soldiers and our Vietnamese comrades, a maniacal fighter against the so called 'red threat',” reads a statement issued by the Communist Party of Leningrad Oblast.

STORY: Russia’s Culture Ministry Fines Filmmaker Garri Bardin 

The St. Pete communists were especially upset by the fact that the Stallone exhibition opened at the Russian Museum, which they see as a symbol of Russian culture.

“An insolent American invader, sadist and Russophobe has settled for a month [at a venue] where masterpieces of Russian painting have been on display for more than a century,” reads the statement.

“Stallone referred to our country as an evil empire, he was a soldier of [Ronald] Reagan,” Sergei Malinkovich, a leader of St Petersburg’s communists, wrote in an address to the Russian Museum, in which he called for cancelling Stallone’s exhibition. “Renowned artists and characters of their paintings wouldn’t want to be placed next to daub by a Cold War relic, filled with hatred.”

The museum wouldn’t react to the Communists’ protest, and the exhibition is running as scheduled.