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Russian Government "Disgusted" By Putin Statue In Latvia

The giant statue portrays the Russian President on a cross outside the former KGB building in Latvia's capital, Riga. Passersby are allegedly encouraged to drive nails into it.

Last updated on May 17, 2015, at 9:25 a.m. ET

Posted on May 17, 2015, at 9:25 a.m. ET

This is the artwork that has prompted the Russian Embassy in Latvia to write a statement expressing "indignation" and "disgust."

Ko autori darīs, kad viņš pie mums pašā Rīgas centrā trešajā dienā augšāmcelsies?

It purports to show Russian President Vladimir Putin nailed to a cross in front of what used to be the KGB building in the Latvian capital, Riga.

Passersby are allegedly encouraged to drive nails into the statue, whose creator chose to remain anonymous.

В #Рига #Riga во дворе бывшего здания КГБ распяли статую #Путин https://t.co/iP98UJ3oSU http://t.co/36vJhlX2xK

But in an interview to a Latvian newspaper, the artist said his intention was not to depict the Russian leader but a "businessman."

The Russian Embassy in Latvia wrote a statement in its Facebook page expressing his disapproval of the artwork.

Facebook: RUSEMBAS

The Embassy said it had sent a "note" to the Latvian foreign ministry on the statue, which it said caused "extreme outrage and disgust."

Amid the furore, organizers decided to call off the exhibit on Saturday as a "safety precaution."

Latvia, a tiny European nation of some two million people, was once part of the Soviet Union.

Russia's annexation of Crimea and arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine caused many Latvians to view Putin with deep suspicion.

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    Felipe Araujo is the overnight homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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