superman and friends:
over soviet statue
Twenty years ago you would have been shot for stepping too close to this monument in Sofia in Bulgaria.
But after the smashing of the Berlin Wall, statues celebrating communist rule appear to be fair game to the graffiti artists of the former Soviet block in Eastern Europe.
An anonymous artist transformed Russian Red Army soldiers from a monument in the city of Sofia, in Bulgaria, into popular superheroes and cartoon characters
Taking centre stage is Superman with his distinctive red cape and blue suit. To the left is Santa Claus and to the right Ronald McDonald, the mascot of the fast-food giant McDonalds, and the Joker also makes an appearance.
Below the graffiti artist has sprayed "Moving with the times" in Bulgarian black paint. The "artistic vandalism" appeared this morning - but it is still not clear who is behind the colourful display.
The giant monument was built to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Russian 'liberation' of Bulgaria in 1944.
It is regarded as the prime example of the forceful socialist-realism of the period.
The place of honour goes to a Red Army soldier atop a column, surrounded by animated cast-iron sculptural groups depicting determined, gun-waving soldiers and members of the proletariat.
Figures of Soviet soldiers at the base of the Soviet Army monument, and below a member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party cleaning the statue in Feb 2010