[The post-Lenin Red Square]
Now that workers have removed the 18-foot statue of Vladimir Lenin from the roof of Red Square on East Houston, there's a lot of speculation about where the former Communist leader might end up.
On Monday night, workers at the scene at 250 Houston between Avenue A and Avenue B told EVG contributor Stacie Joy that Lenin, who arrived at Red Square in 1994, was headed to Queens for cleaning and storage.
Meanwhile, a tipster told us that the rental building's original developer, Michael Rosen, has purchased the statue. The building is rumored to be in contract for $100 million.
The Village Voice had an entertaining phone call with someone who answered the phone at Red Square.
“It’s in the same place as Dick Cheney — an undisclosed location,” the man said, adding “I don’t even know how you got this number. I haven’t answered the phone in 14 years.”
The man confirmed that the statue was initially removed to Queens, but has already been returned to Manhattan. It needs to be cleaned and touched up a bit — Lenin’s got some tears, he said — but it will be brought back within a few months.
“It’s going to be cool. That’s all I can say."
DNAInfo reported that the statue was spotted yesterday morning in a truck bed outside the Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk St. (Was this thing just driving the city all night?) The truck driver said that the statue was going up in/on a nearby building.
And finally, one EVG regular speculated that the statue would end up atop the Christodora House, where Rosen lives on Avenue B. Sure, why not. [Updated 8:10 a.m. — Rosen writes in to say that he has been living in Hanoi these recent years, and they have a Lenin in one of their parks already.]
One other item from Monday night. Apparently several people called 911 to report that someone was stealing the statue. One of the officers on the scene from the 9th Precinct said that he was responding to a call about a "landmark statue being stolen from the building by men with cranes."
[Photo by Stacie Joy]
That would be quite a heist.
[Photo by Stacie Joy]
Updated 6 a.m.
A BoweryBoogie reader spotted a crane crew hoisting Lenin up to the roof of 178 Norfolk St. yesterday ... presumably the new home for the statue. Rosen and Michael Shaoul, co-owners/developers of the original Red Square, are the owners of this 6-story walk-up adjacent to the Angel Orensanz Center.
Lenin has returned. Photos here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Rumors: Red Square has been sold
Report: Red Square has been sold for $100 million
The fall of Lenin: Iconic statue removed from Red Square on East Houston Street