Skip to comments.Lawmakers Say KGB Founder Statue Won't Return to Moscow
Posted on 10/14/2013 2:30:44 AM PDT by TexGrill
Moscow legislators backtracked on claims that they are considering the return of a monument honoring the founder of the Soviet secret police to the center of the city.
The city parliament made no plans concerning the return of the statue of Felix "Iron Felix" Dzerzhinsky, legislature speaker Vladimir Platonov said on Ekho Moskvy radio Saturday.
City lawmakers have no right to pitch such initiatives anyway and can only rule on their funding, said Platonov, a member of the ruling United Russia party.
Fellow city lawmaker Andrei Metelsky said earlier Saturday that the Dzerzhinsky statue was a historical landmark and could return to its place in front of the Federal Security Service's headquarters on the downtown Lubyanka Square after the monument's restoration, which will cost taxpayers 50 million rubles ($1.5 million).
Metelsky, also a United Russia member, denied the return of Dzerzhinsky within hours, saying that he was only stating a personal opinion that was misinterpreted by journalists.
Interestingly, Metelsky said the ultimate decision on a statue's installation should rest with the city residents, while Platonov specifically stressed they have no say in what statues the officials decide to adorn Moscow with.
Moscow City Duma faces elections next September. United Russia, whose ratings are flagging, has recently banked on ultraconservative policies such as limiting gay rights and promoting Soviet nostalgia in what pundits say are an attempt to rally its core traditionalist constituency.
Dzerzhinsky founded in 1917 the Cheka secret police, responsible for mass tortures and executions during the Russian Civil War.
(Excerpt) Read more at themoscowtimes.com ...
Those of us old enough to remember the time recall how the statue of that monstrous killer and torturer was removed in the days following the failed coup against Gorbachev and the resulting disintegration of the USSR. Thanks TexGrill.
Lubyanka Square in Moscow is about 900 metres (980 yd) north east of Red Square. The name is first mentioned in 1480, when Ivan III settled many Novgorodians in the area. They built the church of St Sophia, modelled after St Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, and called the area Lubyanka after the Lubyanitsy district of their native city.
Lubyanka Square is best known for Aleksandr V. Ivanov’s monumental building from 18971898. It was originally used by the insurance company Rossiya, but it is better known for later housing the headquarters of the KGB in its various incarnations and today housing that of the FSB. The square was renamed Dzerzhinsky Square for many years (19261990) in honor of the founder of the Soviet security service, Felix Dzerzhinsky. Yevgeny Vuchetich’s monumental statue of Dzerzhinsky (nicknamed Iron Felix) was erected in the center of the square in 1958.
On October 30, 1990, the Memorial organization erected a monument to the victims of the Gulag, a simple stone from Solovki. In 1991 the statue of Dzerzhinsky was removed following the failure of the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, and the square’s original name was officially restored. The Moscow Metro station Lubyanka is located under Lubyanka Square.
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