An artist whose taxidermied fox earned internet fame in Russia after sparking a bushel of memes has been branded an “anti-soviet” and a “Russophobe”.
Adele Morse’s somewhat addled-looking creation became an online hit after being transplanted into iconic shots of President Vladimir Putin, Jesus, feminist punk group Pussy Riot, Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Marilyn Monroe, and Keanu Reeves, to name but a few.
Some enterprising fans have also sent Stoned Fox into space, placed him on the Moscow subway and in the White House with Barack Obama.
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While Morse sold Stoned Fox to Mike Boorman via eBay in 2012 for the princely sum of £330, the trio have embarked on a tour of Russia where the animal will be displayed alongside some of the montages it inspired, the country's Ria Novosti reported.
But the trip, which will also see Morse lecture on how Stoned Fox came into being, has been marred by controversy.
Unhappy with Stoned Fox's appearance alongside Bolshevik revolution leader Lenin, representatives of the Communist Party of Russia have denounced the fox as “a serious danger to Russia’s youth” and accused Morse of “defaming with impunity our people and our country."
Press secretary Veronika Murashkina adds Morse is: "Spreading lampoon in which the fox is depicted next to the image of Lenin and other national leaders."
What’s more, several outlets have quoted Morse as claiming Stoned Fox “looks a bit sad and drunk and that’s how Russians feel”, a quote she vehemently denies.
In a blog post she wrote: “This is a complete misquote. I did not say this, and I also do not think this!
“I understand that Russia has a folkloric history with foxes and the nation has a much different view of foxes than we do in London.”
According to The Telegraph’s Moscow correspondent, Morse has also been described as “an unfriendly emissary from England.”
It adds Communist Party representatives have asked local authorities to close down her “vile, Russophobic” exhibition at St Petersberg's Geometria café, claiming the artist had “allowed herself to mock a great people and its history.”
Prominent St Petersburg MP Vitaly Milonov has also weighed in, claiming the exhibition of the fox is propagating animal cruelty.
Despite the uproar, Morse told The Huffington Post UK she's largely had a positive reception in Russia.
Speaking on Thursday, she said: "I had a press conference yesterday and 120 plus journalists and all the major TV companies came.
"Amidst all of this, only four communists turned up to protest and they talked a lot of nonsense saying they think I am an agent of the UK and that the fox has diseases and people will die from touching it. All of this is obviously not true."