Russian bloggers examine fig leaf on Bolshoi’s Apollo

The appearance of a fig leaf on the statue of Apollo decorating the recently renovated Bolshoi Theater has become a buzz topic among Russian bloggers.

Bloggers have been discussing two photos of the famous Apollo chariot topping the eight-columned portico of the Bolshoi Theater, made before and after renovation.

Apollo’s genitals, which are clearly visible on the first image and even on any 100-ruble note, have been covered by a fig leaf which historians claim was originally created by sculptor Pyotr Klodt, but “lost” after the WWII.

In a story published last year on the ongoing Bolshoi renovation, the federal NTV channel said: “The 100-ruble note portrays Apollo in great precision: the laurel wreath is broken, the fig leaf is lost. Now everything is back in place again.”

But members of the Russian internet community argue that there was no point for Klodt in sculpting genitals under the fig leaf.

“Why would Klodt make a removable fig leaf? There just shouldn’t be anything under the leaf,” one blogger said.

The Bolshoi Theater, one of the main landmarks of the Russian capital and a symbol of Russian culture, reopened last Friday after six years of reconstruction.

The theater, built in 1825, closed for reconstruction in 2005. The Russian government spent 21 billion rubles ($681 million) on the restoration, which involved more than 3,600 designers, builders and engineers.

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