We last left our hero in the Dallas library of Harlan Crow, admiring the paintings of three World War II leaders (Eisenhower, Churchill, and Hitler). Outside the library, however, lurked even greater wonders: a collection of gigantic statues of some of the 20th centuries most monstrous dictators, including —
- Mao Tse Tung
- Chou En-Lai
Some lesser figures are included, as well, such as Bela Kun of Hungary, Nicolae and Madame Ceausescu of Romania, Karl Marx, and Felix Dzerzhinsky. The Dzerzhinsky is a special plum, as it used to stand in the lobby of the KGB headquarters at Lubyanka Prison, the spiritual home of Vladimir Putin.
Why collect these rogues? Well, after Communism fell, the statues were relatively inexpensive. I suspect there may be a slight element of scalp-taking here, a small victory dance in Dallas. But it is a fascinating experience.
I was not so bold as to take photos myself (it seemed a bit rude), but I can share a couple from the Internet.