Ernst Iosifovich Neizvestny receives Order of Honor from Vladimir Putin. Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office of the Russia Federation.
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Ernst Neizvestny, a Russian-born sculptor who publicly debated modern art with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and went on to create his final memorial, died in the United States Tuesday.Neizvestny, who was forced to leave the Soviet Union in the 1970s, famously confronted Khrushchev in 1962 at "The New Reality" contemporary art show in central Moscow.Neizvestny, a burly decorated war hero, was not cowed and spoke back to the Soviet leader, insisting that he show his work while attempting to explain it.Neizvestny was expelled from the Union of Artists.Khrushchev died in 1971 after being removed as Soviet leader and, at his family's request, Neizvestny created his memorial in Moscow's Novodevichy cemetery.
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