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Good defeats Evil

How St. George Ended Up at the U.N.

 

By PAUL LEWIS, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

Published: September 30, 1990

 

LEAD: A forty-foot metal statue of St. George brandishing a crucifix as he slays a nuclear dragon has appeared just inside the United Nations gardens near 47th Street, attracting curious looks from strollers along First Avenue.

 

A forty-foot metal statue of St. George brandishing a crucifix as he slays a nuclear dragon has appeared just inside the United Nations gardens near 47th Street, attracting curious looks from strollers along First Avenue.

 

It is hard to decide what is most surprising about this latest addition to the United Nations' sculpture collection, which the Soviet Union is to present officially to the world organization on Friday.

 

Is it that the donor of so Christian a gift should be the Soviet Union, or that an organization like the United Nations should give such prominence to a Christian image?

 

Is it that the dragon St. George has speared is made of salami-like slices of genuine Soviet SS-20 and American Pershing ballistic missiles chopped up under the 1988 treaty that eliminated intermediate-range nuclear weapons?

 

'Good Defeats Evil'

 

Or is it that the United Nations should accept such a statue when five years ago it decided to refuse new art gifts because its gardens and buildings were becoming cluttered with second-rate works donated by well-meaning governments?

 

Another oddity about the work, which bears the title ''Good Defeats Evil,'' is its Georgian connection.

 

St. George is the patron saint of Georgia, that warm Black Sea region of the Soviet Union that is home to delicious wine and fruit.

 

Source: New York Times

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