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European capital welcomes visitors with giant statue of Tony Soprano at its train station
Featured Image Credit: James Talalay/robertharding /Alamy Stock Photo

European capital welcomes visitors with giant statue of Tony Soprano at its train station

A huge statue of Tony Soprano welcomes weary train travellers into this European capital

If you’re travelling around mainland Europe at any point, you might find yourself in one particular capital staring up at a statue of one of TV’s most recognisable characters.

That’s because there’s a 15-foot statue of Tony Soprano at the main station, ready for people to step off a train and see him.

I mean, look at this thing... It’s a masterpiece.

The Tony Soprano statue.
Robert Harding/Alamy

Tony Soprano stands huge next to the platform wearing his trademark bathrobe and boxer shorts, lord of all he surveys.

So, where exactly would you have to go to witness this landmark piece of art?

Why, the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, of course.

This figure – depicting the famous fictional mob boss on one of his down days – was the work of Lithuanian artist Donatas Jankauskas who created it in 2009 for the capital city’s Unexpected Spaces program.

It’s fair to say that he definitely understood that particular assignment.

The statue was originally placed in front of the Theatre, Music, and Film Museum specifically to symbolise the fact that the museum had been run for years by the same family.

OK, it's slightly unnerving, but all good art is supposed to challenge.
Mariano Garcia/Alamy

Now, it takes pride of place on the train station platform, having been on something of a tour of the country in the years since it was created.

Created as part of the city’s time as the European Capital of Culture, it was originally supposed to be taller, as the legs of the statue were sunk into the floor.

Now he stands on his own two feet at full heights.

Hopefully for all time, Tony will stand there in his shorts welcoming weary travellers into Vilnius in his underpants.

Eagle-eyed fans of The Sopranos will know that the scene that gave inspiration to the artist for this particular image of Tony was one in which the main protagonist of the series heads out into the garden to pick up his newspapers.

Jankauskas is known for incorporating popular culture references into his work, having also created pieces that feature characters from Japanese manga cartoons as well as references to Planet of the Apes.

Surely, this is his magnum opus, though?

One of many reasons to visit Vilnius.
James Talalay/Alamy

Jankauskas is described as ‘a kind of artist who can effortlessly merge hardly compatible images in his visual arsenal’.

He certainly can.

So, if you’re ever passing through the Lithuanian city of Vilnius, you know exactly what obscure tourist attraction to look out for.

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Topics: Film and TV, Weird, World News, Travel