Edward Stourton's bust of Lenin

Contributed by AHOTW People

Edward Stourton's bust of Lenin

This is a small, bronze bust of Lenin which I bought in a fleamarket in Moscow in the early 1990s, when everyone in Russia was getting rid of objects that reminded them of communism.

I keep it on my desk to remind me of the great ideological struggle which dominated the world for the first part of my life. I saw the last chapter of the collapse of communism at first hand - and was even briefly arrested by the KGB - and it was by far and away the most important news story of my career - much more significant than 9/11 or anything else that has happened this century.

Lenin was one of the pivotal figures who made the 20th century what it was, and the fact that my children have grown up without the spectre of nuclear annihilation is a blessing I try not to forget.

The Russians are very tight on exporting antiques, and when I flew out of Moscow the soldier on the x-ray machine said "Ah, I see you have Vladimir Iliych in your suitcase" - but I don't think it is old enough our special enough to be worth anything much, and he let it go.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline




View more objects from people in London.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.