SAMARA, June 8 (Sputnik) - The FIFA World Cup host city of Samara will be decorated with eight human-sized matryoska dolls, painted in styles reflecting the culture and history of the countries that will play at the Samara Arena during the tournament, one of the artists behind the project, Anton Baliev, told Sputnik on Friday.
“Each of the eight matryoshkas will reflect the culture and the history of a country participating in the tournament, [one for] each team that will play here, at the Samara Arena. The matryoshkas will be installed at the [city's] embankment,” Baliev said.
He added that each doll is 6.5 ft tall and 3.5 ft wide, and one of them will symbolize Russia, with Samara’s coat of arms painted on it. The other countries that will play their group stage matches at the Samara Arena are Costa Rica, Denmark, Uruguay, Senegal, Serbia, Australia and Colombia.
According to Baliev, the matryoshka was chosen because it is one of the well-known Russian symbols, along with Russian winter footwear valenki and the balalaika musical instrument.
Russia will host its first-ever FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15, with the matches set to take place at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across the country. The Samara Arena will host four matches of the group stage, a round of 16 game and a quarter-final.