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Nazi gun removed from statue of AK-47 founder Mikhail Kalashnikov in Moscow

Russian authorities have corrected a mistake in part of a statue that honors the developer of one of Russia's most famous exports. Muscovites noticed the error in the 7.5 meter monument and alerted city chiefs.

Workers have removed an illustration of a gun used by the German army during the Second World War from a new monument honoring Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian inventor of the widely recognized AK-47 rifle, three days after the statue's unveiling in Moscow.

The sculptor, Salavat Scherbakov, admitted the mistake on Friday after angry locals discovered that the metal bas-relief behind the statue of Kalashnikov included an image of the Sturmgewehr 44 ("storm rifle"), an assault rifle used by Nazi forces in the later years of the Second World War.

Hours later, a worker used an angle grinder to remove the illustration of the rifle, according to news agency AFP, leaving a square hole in the bas-relief that depicts lesser known weapons designed by Kalashnikov alongside the AK-47.

Russian authorities presented the seven-meter (23-feet) high statue of the inventor, who died in 2013, in central Moscow on Tuesday in a ceremony that included a military parade.

Russian troops march past Kalashnikov statue in Moscow

Russia inaugurated the statue to celebrate the work of Mikhail Kalashnikov on Tuesday with much pomp

Speaking at the event, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky called the AK-47 a "cultural brand for Russia" and its founder a man who symbolized "the best attributes of a Russian."

Kalashnikov became a hero in his native Soviet Union for designing the "Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947" (AK-47) that many experts consider one of the most effective guns ever invented.

Russian armies used the rifle for over 60 years and the weapon continues to be in service in over 50 countries today. According to gun's manufacturer, every fifth firearm is a Kalashnikov and over 100 million have been produced.

The weapon has long been associated with revolutionary militant groups, many of which used the relatively cheap weapon since its invention in 1947.

amp/mm  (Reuters, AFP)

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