A petition to replace the monument to Catherine II in Odesa has garnered 25 000 signatures. It have to be considered by Zelensky

Oleg Panfilovych

A petition to replace the monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odessa with a monument to the American gay porn actor Billy Herrington has gathered 25 000 signatures and have to be considered by the president.

"Catherine II is a controversial historical figure whose actions caused great damage to Ukrainian statehood and culture. The very fact of erecting this monument was a terrible mistake, and every day of its continued existence signals that Odesa is in the zone of Russian cultural influence. Itʼs time to change that," writes the author of the petition Oleksiy Matvieiev.

The petition also proposes a monument project where actor Billy Herrington would sit behind a bar with a bottle of beer. According to the authors, this will make it possible to renounce the Russian heritage and "to loudly declare that Odesa is not some provincial town of the Russian Empire, but has its own culture and sense of humor."

It will also send a clear signal from Ukraine about support for the LGBT community. "The figure of Billy Herrington has great cultural influence on the Internet, and such a monument will become very popular among tourists," write the authors of the petition.