Graffiti artists notched up the ultimate trophy after they managed to paint a Soviet space shuttle stored at a remote spaceport in southern Kazakhstan.
It is unclear who the vandals who graffitied the shuttle were, but the incident was confirmed by lawyer Maria Bast in a post to her hundreds of followers on her page on Russian social media network VKontakte.
She said that the unidentified street artists had infiltrated the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is located in an area leased to Russia, and left various graffiti tags on the unfinished Buran spacecraft.
Buran, meaning snowstorm or blizzard, was the name given to the Soviet and later Russian reusable spacecraft project that began in 1974 and was formally suspended in 1993.
It was also the name given to the orbiter that completed an unmanned spaceflight in 1988.
Construction on two more orbiters was also initiated as part of the project, but they were never completed.
It is believed to be one of these orbiters that was being stored at the cosmodrome and was damaged by the vandals.
In the post shared on 26th May, the lawyer showed photographs of the artwork.
She wrote: “In 2016, our company, the Space Technologies Consortium, offered to take these Burans. We wanted to transfer them to the museum in Monino at our own expense.
“Roscosmos then said that it would take them. They even gave us a formal reply. But then vandals covered the Buran in graffiti in the assembly and refuelling building at Baikonur.”
Local news website Ren.tv reported that according to preliminary data, the space shuttle had been painted by unidentified street artists from the ‘DobroCrew’ street-art collective from Saint Petersburg.
The street artists reportedly wrote ‘Dobro’, ‘Yura, we have arrived’ (possibly in reference to Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space) and ‘Before flying to the stars, a person needs to learn how to live on Earth’ on the shuttle.
Ren.tv reported that Roscosmos has apparently now come around to the idea of moving the orbiter to a museum, and the topic is set to be discussed at the next meeting of the Kazakh-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation.
It is not clear whether an investigation has been initiated to identify the vandals and if they will be given a punishment if found guilty.
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Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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