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Lenin Statue Toppled in East Village's Red Square

By Allegra Hobbs | September 20, 2016 4:02pm
 The Lenin statue was spotted in a truck bed outside the Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk Street on Tuesday morning.
The Lenin statue was spotted in a truck bed outside the Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk Street on Tuesday morning.
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Angel Orensanz

EAST VILLAGE — Lenin has been toppled in Red Square.

A statue of communist Russia's first leader that for years has stood atop the Red Square residence at 250 E. Houston Street was yanked from its perch Monday night.

The statue, an icon of the East Village's quirkiness since being placed on the building in 1994, was photographed being packed up and lifted from the rooftop, as first reported by EV Grieve.

A longtime building resident who asked not to be named told DNAinfo New York she saw the statue being taken to another building just blocks away on Norfolk Street Tuesday morning. 

That building's management gave no information as to the statue’s current resting place.

Angel Orensanz, local sculptor and founder of the Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk St., said he walked out of the center at 7 a.m. to see the larger-than-life Lenin laying down on a truck bed, and was told by the truck operators the statute was being moved to a neighboring building. 

Wherever the statue may be, the Red Square resident said she was sad to see Lenin knocked from his home above her apartment.

“I think it gave the building a lot of character and I think taking it down is sort of a sad change in the neighborhood,” she said.

The 18-foot likeness of the Vladimir Lenin was a state-commissioned piece by Yuri Gerasimov that was kept hidden after the fall of the Soviet Union.

It was later discovered by an associate of the East Village building’s owner in Moscow, according to a 1997 report in the New York Times.

The removal comes amid rumors that 12-story Houston Street building has been sold to Dermot Co. for around $100 million.

The New York Post reported the sale in August 2015, attributing the news to unnamed sources. As of Tuesday there is no public record of the transaction. 

Representatives for Dermot could not immediately be reached for comment.

A representative for Tompkins Square Realty, which leases the property, did not immediately return a request for comment.