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An exiled anti-war Russian artist is planning to “drench” St Paul’s Cathedral in human blood this month, to protest against Prince Harry’s ‘boasts’ over killing 25 Afghan fighters.
Andrei Molodkin, 57, made headlines last year after creating a sculpture featuring an image of Vladimir Putin that was filled with blood donated by Ukrainian fighters – earning him the fury of pro-Putin loyalists.
Now Molodkin, who has had to flee Russia for France, is aiming to project a sculpture featuring human blood donated by Afghans on to St Paul’s in the coming days, along with footage of the Duke of Sussex.
It comes after Harry faced criticism for revealing in his ‘Spare’ memoir how he killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving in Afghanistan, saying the number did not fill him “with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me”.
US-based Harry, 38, also admitted that he did not think of those he killed as “people” – but instead as “chess pieces” which had to be removed from the board.
Furious Molodkin said Harry’s remarks made him “very, very angry” and his plan is to “drench St Paul’s Cathedral in the blood of Afghani people”.
Molodkin said four willing Afghans in Calais had already given blood for the sculpture and another five Afghans in the UK will donate when the stunt is carried out before the end of March.
He added: “They read they are just ‘chess figures’… for some prince hunting by helicopter. It looked like a safari situation. How he told it, for him it’s like a computer game.”
The artist said about 1,250ml of blood will be used for the artwork after being taken from donors by a registered nurse, kept in a fridge and then “pumped” into the sculpture of the royal coat of arms.
Explaining how the project will work, he said: “Blood will go in the royal coat of arms, it will circulate in there. It will be projected on to the cathedral – so all the cathedral will be in the blood of Afghani people.”
He explained how a video featuring Prince Harry will also be projected on to the outside of the 17th Century cathedral.
Molodkin, who used to serve in the Soviet Union’s army, said he explained to all the Afghan donors why they were giving blood. Asked how they felt about Harry’s remarks, he replied: “I think they are very angry.”
He added: “Even in the army, you’re scared to participate in the shooting of others… you’re very stressed about. But he thinks it’s a video game.”
Molodkin said he has “worked with human blood for 15 years” and the sculptures he creates “represent the symbol of power”, adding: “Then the people who are abused by this power, I ask them to donate blood for this”.
Harry’s comments in his book prompted criticism from senior military figures, with Admiral Lord West – the former head of the Royal Navy – reportedly calling the prince “very stupid” and warning he had increased the risk of threat against the Invictus Games.
Taliban officials called for Harry to be put on trial, with a senior leader in the group saying the militants he killed were “not chess pieces, they were humans”.
The duke carried out two tours in Afghanistan during his time in the military, including one tour between 2012 and 2013 when he served as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot gunner.
Molodkin said he has angered Putin loyalists so much he would face jail for his artwork if he returns to his home country under its current laws.
He added: “Now I can’t go back to Russia while Putin still has power but I truly believe it’s not possible to continue like this. People who kill so many people and start a blood war like this… and try to brainwash… can’t stay longer.”
Last December – to coincide with the World Cup in Qatar – he also unveiled a replica of the World Cup trophy that slowly filled with crude oil.
While in August 2022 he presented a sculpture of the White House that reportedly contained the radioactive blood of Nagasaki-born men to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.
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