Otakar Švec

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Gigantic (15 metres high) monument by Otakar Švec in honour of Joseph Stalin in Prague-Letná. It was finished in 1955, two years after Stalin's death and destroyed in November 1962

Otakar Švec (23 November 1892 – 3 March 1955[1]) was a Czech sculptor best known for his colossal granite Monument to Stalin in Prague, Czech Republic.


A pupil of Josef Václav Myslbek and Jan Štursa, Švec had produced the important 1924 Futurist sculpture Sunbeam Motorcycle, now in the National Gallery in Prague, and at least three major public monuments to Tomáš Masaryk, Jan Hus, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The first two were destroyed by the Germans during World War II.

Švec entered the competition for the Stalin Monument in 1949, not expecting to win.[2] The sculpture was unveiled on May Day, 1955, but Švec had earlier killed himself.

This world's largest representation of Stalin, dominating the city, stood for only seven years before the political climate changed. It was brought down in October 1962 with 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) of dynamite.[3]


  1. ^ Date of death according to Szczygieł, Mariusz: Gottland. Reportagen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2008, p.107 (based on Czech archival resources)
  2. ^ Faltýnek, Vilém (26 April 2006). "Paradoxní osud sochaře Švece zaujal Martina Zeta" (in Czech). Radio Prague. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  3. ^ Asiedu, Dita (3 May 2005). "World's biggest Stalin monument would have turned 50 on May Day". Radio Prague. Retrieved 22 November 2016.