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DiCaprio: will he be sent to Siberia TWICE?

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 February 2016

Actor is being awarded the Siberian Oscar (if he arrives to collect it) - but is also now wanted as a tourism guru after 'blunder' on Urals pollution.

Sent to Siberia - Leo DiCaprio got two invitation in a week. Picture: Georges Biard/Wikimedia

Our pictures show Yakutian women who are awarding Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio a very personal honour for his role in 'The Revenant': they are melting their own gold and silver jewellery to present him with the award. Who could refuse these women from the Sakha Republic - also known as Yakutia?  They insist they're his most devoted fans anywhere. 

But the star is also in demand elsewhere after pointing to seemingly horrific pollution near the Magnitogork Iron and Steel Works in the South Urals. He offended the governor of Chelyabinsk by using what appears to have been a photograph taken in 1993. 

'Knowing that the river is badly polluted by waste from the huge plant looming behind them, many fisherman would sell their catch to markets rather than consume it themselves,' DiCaprio - a high-profile environmental activist - blasted in Instagram post.

Now Governor Boris Dubrovsky - whose region lies on the western edge of Siberia - has invited DiCaprio to check his facts and when he realises how much cleaner the place is now, to become the fact of tourism for the Urals. The politician's spokesman complained the picture highlighted by DiCaptio is 'rather old'. In fact it seems to date from 1993. 

Oscar for Leo


Jeanne


Sardana Savvina


Anna Shano

Our pictures show Yakutian women who are awarding Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio a very personal honour for his role in 'The Revenant': they are melting their own gold and silver jewellery to present him with the award. Pictures: Kinozavod, Jeann Doari, Sardana Savvina, Anna Shano 

'In the photo we can see pipes of open-hearth furnaces which do not exist anymore. And now the water in the river near the plant is clean for fishing,' he said. 

Instead of highlighting out of date ecological problems, he said, the Hollywood icon should become the face of tourism for the Urals. 'We can show him our tourism opportunities,' said spokesman Dmitry Fedechkin. 'We have decided to offer the actor to think about becoming the face of the South Urals tourism.'

There is a logic to the request, dating back to Soviet times. DiCaprio's maternal grandmother comes from neighbouring Perm region

'My grandmother was Russian - [Yelena] Smirnova - and for me she was the embodiment of inner strength and integrity,' he said in a 2012 interview. 

Meanwhile, 3,991 kilometres east locals are melting their own jewellery to create a gold and silver Oscar holding the Choron - a three-legged goblet 'symbolising peace and expressing people's love for the actor'.

Leo DiCaprio Instagram


Leo DiCaprio Instagram


Old picture


Boris Dubrovskyi

Boris Dubrovsky: 'Come and check - all is clean now.' Pictures: Instagram, The Siberian Times

More than 100 fans have already handed over their precious jewellery for the accolade to DiCaprio, regardless of the result when the Academy Awards are announced on 28 February. Gold will be melted down for the Choron, while silver is used for the figure holding it. Here, silver is a sacred metal to the people who see it as holding powers to purify and protect its owner.

'Many people are still bringing silver, showing they are ready to unite for a common purpose and make it real. This inspires us,' said Tatiana Yegorova, an organiser of this Siberian Oscar. 'Yakutia praises high-quality cinema and considers DiCaprio to be an actor who can inspire and delight his audiences.

'In two weeks, a statuette in national Yakutia style will be cast, created by those fascinated with DiCaprio's work.'

Its size? At least 30 centimetres tall but it will depend on the quantity of metal donated by his fans. But his devotees have waited a long time for this moment.

Model for statuette


Model for statuette


Model for statuette

Sculptor Nikolay Chochchasov is already working on the model. Pictures: Yakutsk.ru

'This idea came to us about ten years ago, but we did not have the courage to implement it,' she said. 'The film 'The Revenant' touched all of us very much, and we finally decided. 

'We Yakutians know first hand about life and survival in the Far North. In this regard, we decided to mark this role and raise the people's forces around the action 'Oscar for Leo'.

She said: 'We just want to sincerely convey our ardent greetings to this beloved actor on behalf of his fans from faraway Yakutia.' The 'Oscar for Leo' supporters hope to present the award in person if the actor flies to Yakutsk, perhaps in the summer.

Sculptor Nikolay Chochchasov is already working on the model. Jeweller Prokopy Protopopov will cast the statuette. The Revenant tops the Academy Awards list with 12 nominations, including citations for Best Picture and Best Actor.

Comments (1)

I already commented on the previous Leonardo article so will not repeat that comment here. What I will add here is to please be calm and careful everyone in making assumptions. To Leonardo, please do not let people melt their history into a "statue" and to everyone in the Urals, please keep asking Leonardo to come and see for himself. Also, to all the officials in Russia, please help everyone in Siberia standing up for taking care of and protecting the very precious environment and eco-systems of this part of the world.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
11/02/2016 23:06
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