Dutch hospital’s monster sculpture a surprise hit in Russia

Margriet van Breevoort's 'Homunculus Loxodontus' at LUMC
Margriet van Breevoort's 'Homunculus Loxodontus' at LUMCPhoto: Margriet van Breevoort

An Amsterdam artist's sculpture for the academic hospital in Leiden has become an internet sensation in Russia. It seems that the monster statue - a gray blob with the head of a sea elephant waiting for a seat with its hands patiently folded - perfectly embodies the Russian 'waiting' culture, a leftover from the communist era during which almost all goods had to be waited for, Het Parool reports.

Amsterdam artist Margriet van Breevoort (26) is responsible for the statue at LUMC hospital in Leiden. "I wanted to make something that would capture the atmosphere of the medical center. This creature is waiting and hoping, and hope in a medical center is to me something very important", she said to Het Parool. She named the statue 'Homunculus Loxodontus'.

A Russian employee at the hospital found the waiting part of the statue just as important. She posted a photo of the monster on a Russian version of Reddit and it exploded. The monster was quickly named "Zhdun", a corruption of the Russian word "zhdu" which means "I'll wait", and is now in numerous Russian memes. 

Van Breevoort calls the attention "overwhelming, but very nice". "I'm now getting all kinds of questions and even orders from Russia."