Russian media and bloggers have recently turned their attention to ‘Russki vityaz’ (Russian Knight), a production studio which makes tin figurines of historic people – including modern Russian politicians.
Among its collection you can find statuettes of President Vladimir Putin, in several variations: Judo master, hockey player, conqueror of Crimea, on the battleship 'Peter I.' Among the many other figurines are Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Republic of Chechnya; Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister for International Affairs; and Sergei Sobyanin and Yuri Luzhkov, the current and former mayors of Moscow. Many of the models of Russian bureaucrats were made to order for Putin’s administration.
‘Russki vityaz’ is based in St. Petersburg and specializes in making tin sculptures of people from ancient times to the present day, as well as chess sets and individual chess pieces.
The price of these tin figurines varies from $500-$8,000, depending on the size. Individual orders can cost up to $12,000, which was the price of a 12-inch statuette of Igor Sechin, head of the oil and gas company Rosneft. According to official data, Sechin has never worked in the intelligence services, although his statuette was part of a custom order from the president’s administration. A ‘Russki vityaz’ chess set sells for $20,000.
There are also miniatures portraying modern Russian life in the collection, as envisioned by the studio's sculptors. Samples include a modern family, or the ‘business director’, a rather stout man portrayed leaning against a jeep.
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