Vegas resort removes Lenin's 'head'

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LAS VEGAS -- A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the crumble of Communism in Europe's Eastern Bloc, yet another symbol of the Cold War has fallen, but in a most unlikely locale -- the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino here.

According to a spokeswoman for Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., which owns and operates the month-old property, some patrons were offended by the huge statue of V. I. Lenin that had been erected just outside the door of the Russian-inspired Red Square, one of Mandalay Bay's numerous restaurants.

So, in a move designed to mirror the fate of myriad Lenin statues located throughout the former Communist bloc, Glenn Schaeffer, Circus Circus president and chief executive officer, asked that the head of the gypsum-and-plaster statue be removed.

Schaeffer "also asked the construction guys to put a bit of white paint on the statue's shoulders and feet to give it more of an urban feel," the spokeswoman said.

In other words, to simulate the proximity of the avian species.

Reaction to the newly redesigned statue has been low-key, which is just the way Circus Circus executives want it. "Basically, [taking the head off the statue] has sucked the wind out of the issue, which was the intent in the first place," the spokeswoman said.

Now the question is, what will become of the 250-pound head?

"We're leaving that up to the Red Square guys," the spokeswoman said. "They've talked about making it into a table or putting it in one of the [restaurant's] see-through vodka lockers. "In the end, it will be separated from the body by 20 or 30 feet."

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