This statue was originally constructed for the world exhibition in Paris in 1937. It was to be the decoration of the Soviet pavilion. The sculptor was given the assignment to construct a statue that should show the strength and unity of the Soviet system and make the bourgeois of the world tremble with fear.
Mrs. Mukhina and her team chose stainless chrome-nickel steel sheets as the appropriate material to represent Soviet strength. 10 months it took to form and assemble the statue – which is 24 meters high – even Stalin visited the factory where it was made to see how their propagandistic symbol was progressing.
For the transport the statue was cut in 65 parts. Together with the machinery used for re-assembling and erecting it on top of the Soviet pavilion it occupied 28 train wagons. This way she was also brought home after the exhibition was over, although there were proposals from French politicians to keep it in Paris .
The monument had great success in Paris , and became famous all over the world. (There are rumours that alledgedly the waving scarf of the woman resembled the profile of Trotsky, and so it was slightly changed after its return from Paris .) Upon her return the statue was reassembled and put somewhere near the Northern Entrance Gate of the Agricultural exhibition center, on a 9-meter pedestal.
In 1947 the statue, together with the big Kremlin tower, became the Logo for the main film studio of Soviet Union , Mosfilm. It appeared first as the opening of a film by Grigori Aleksandrov, "Spring". As the original proved difficult to have pictures taken of, due to its size, in 1950 a contract was made with Vera Mukhina and she created a smaller plaster model of her statue that till today is kept at Mosfilm.
Some years ago someone wanted to dispute Mosfilm's right to use the staue as a logo and filed a lawsuit, but was turned down. The picture with the statue preceded such famous films as "Andrei Rublyov", "The Cranes Are Flying", "The Gipsy Camp Ascends to Heaven", or "Dersu Uzala". It constitutes the property of Mosfilm.
After 1991 everything from Soviet times became worthless and sellable. Foreigners wanted to buy the statue, but somehow they didn't succeed. Finally in 1998 it was decided that the statue had to be saved, and for that purpose, restored. Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, personally engaged in these decisions.
There was indeed some need for repair. The legs of both gave in, leaving especially the lady o-legged.
Her backwards thrust arm and the scarf lowered to the height of her belt. In 2004 the statue was cut to pieces again, using the old welding seams, and brought to a workshop for restoration. It is supposed to be back by the end of 2005.
Who knows, of course. Perhaps, once restored, it is sold to Hollywood for good money...