Like the rest of the world, Russians, especially in Moscow, relied on an army of couriers for food and supplies during the country’s coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. To show their appreciation, top Russian e-commerce and foodtech companies have unveiled what they say is the world’s first monument to couriers.
It was created by contemporary artist Alexey Garikovich, and depicts the silhouette of a courier making a delivery, with the inscription: “Dedicated to those, who made self-isolation possible.”
The companies, Ozon, a platform similar to Amazon, food retailers Perekrestok.ru and Azbuka Vkusa, Dodo Pizza chain and Delivery Club app said in a joint statement that in Moscow alone more than 60,000 couriers worked during lockdown, and should be honoured like doctors and volunteers as frontline workers: “With this art installation, we’d like to express our gratitude to all of the people working in delivery services. Every day they go to work, they don’t just deliver goods. They deliver comfort and peace of mind.”
Garikovich said “couriers provided the link between the outside world and our homes” during the pandemic, a contribution he sought to convey through the location of the monument on the grounds of the converted Izmeritel factory on Kholodilny lane near central Moscow.
Courier jobs became highly sought after when unemployment spiked during the lockdown. Video footage was posted on Twitter on Thursday of a brawl between couriers from Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda, a rival food app. In 2019, an image of two couriers working for the rival companies kissing in Siberia went viral.
Last month, the Latvian capital Riga put up a six-metre-high sculpture of a masked medical worker by the artist Aigars Bikse, to honour the doctors and nurses who have worked tirelessly and at great personal risk during the pandemic.