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MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences over the death of renowned Russian sculptor Ernst Neizvestny calling this a "grievous loss" for the world culture.
"His death is a grievous loss for our and world culture," Putin said in a telegram offering condolences to the relatives and friends of Neizvestny, the Kremlin press service said.
Neizvestny was one of the most prominent sculptors of the modern age, Putin said.
"His life journey was long and bright; he witnessed the most important events of the 20th century and fought courageously at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War and always held true to his civic position and the high calling of Master and Creator," the president stressed.
Neizvestny, who had lived in the United States since 1977, died in New York on Tuesday at the age of 91, his friend Jeff Bliumis told TASS. Jeff Bliumis said the sculptor died at Stony Brook hospital where he been hospitalized with severe stomach pains.
"It was much unexpected, he felt well two days ago," he went on. He said sculptor’s relatives were undecided at the moment as to where he would be buried.
Neizvestny was born in the Russian Urals city of Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) on April 9, 1925. He was a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, the 1941-1945 Soviet campaign against Nazi Germany, and holder of the Order of the Red Star.
After the war, he for some time taught technical drawing at Suvorov Military School in Sverdlovsk. He studied at the Art Academy in Riga, Latvia, and graduated from Moscow’s Surikov Art Institute.
In 1976, Neizvestny emigrated from the Soviet Union and lived and worked in the US since 1977. The Ernst Neizvestny Museum opened in his home city of Yekaterinburg two years ago. His pieces of art can be found in museums and cities across the globe.