Today more than ever a Burning Issue
The WORLD EXPO is a venerable global exhibition project, dedicated to advancing the ideals of public education, innovation, progress, and international cooperation, with a legacy spanning almost two centuries. Russia, since 1851, has actively participated in all WORLD EXPOs, earning esteemed accolades. However, Russia has never before hosted a world exhibition.
Competing alongside Osaka and Baku, Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk Oblast, Ural Federal District of Russia) vied for the privilege of hosting the WORLD EXPO in 2025. Had Yekaterinburg emerged victorious, the WORLD EXPO would have graced the period from May 2 to November 2, 2025, welcoming visitors from nearly 150 countries.
ART EXPO 2025
As part of a global cultural initiative dedicated to WORLD EXPO 2025, twenty Matryoshka dolls from Yekaterinburg were dispatched in early 2018 to ten major cities worldwide. These artistic creations were showcased in public squares and shopping centers to bolster Yekaterinburg’s bid. Ten Swerdlowsk Matryoshkas were already completed, and international artists embarked later on crafting their “counterparts”.
Following this, all the Matryoshkas journeyed to Paris. If you were in the French capital in late November of that year, the presence of these dolls would have been unmissable in the vicinity of the Russian Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Twenty colossal art installations, embellished by artists from various corners of the world, formed a vibrant campaign in solidarity with Yekaterinburg’s endeavor to host WORLD EXPO 2025.
The German artist Nina Nolte was selected by the Yekaterinburg committee for WORLD EXPO 2025 to represent Germany in this prestigious event. She embarked on the creation of the Berlin Matryoshka, named FRAU LOTTE, using her drawing tablet. Before the detailed painting process began, the substantial 170 cm fiberglass blank required careful preparation. Nina Nolte collaborated with the esteemed team at the Becker & Beckmann paint shop in Berlin, where FRAU LOTTE was transformed over five days of meticulous work.
FRAU LOTTE – THE MATRYOSHKA
FRAU LOTTE’s design is a testament to Nina Nolte’s skill and creativity. Representing Germany, the Matryoshka featured the colors of the German flag: black, red, and gold. The body was adorned with white symbols on a black background. Prominently, a large peace sign graced FRAU LOTTE’s chest, encircled by symbols representing the six main religions.
The choice of Berlin as the motif was deliberate, reflecting the city’s harmonious coexistence of over 184 nationalities. Symbols paying tribute to the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin airlift were also featured, evoking the poignant history of the city. The lettering “BERLIN” adorned her left side, with the “B” symbolizing Bluetooth connectivity, emphasizing the importance of peaceful connection. The “E” took the form of a bear, the emblematic animal of Berlin, while the “I” represented the renowned television tower at Alexanderplatz.
A yellow headscarf, dotted with black, planet-like motifs, symbolized the universe. Atop this, FRAU LOTTE wore a red headphone, attuned to the world’s sorrows, offering counsel and passionately advocating for global peace – a prescient concern even at her creation. The remainder of the symbols echoed Nina Nolte’s hallmark motifs of love, eternity, and the cosmos.