Stalin Statue Could be Restored in Gori

Gori city council is to discuss restoring infamous Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin’s statue in his hometown, from where it was removed five years ago.

After the 2008 Georgian-Russian War, the Georgian government adopted the Freedom Charter, which clearly orders the rooting out of “Soviet and Nazi symbols… statues and monuments.”

However, due to high demand from the local population, especially older people, who have some nostalgia towards the days of the Soviet Union, the restoration of the statue is now up for debate.

The city council will sit on October 2 to discuss the issue, and if the council approves the restoration, the statue will be erected in a small park in central Gori, near the Stalin museum.

The overall cost of the project is estimated to be up to 2 million Lari, or about $840,000.

During a preliminary debate, only two of the nine council members opposed restoring the statute, representatives of the National Movement and the Free Democrats respectively.

However, it is still unclear whether the statue, if restored, will have the status of a monument or be considered an exhibition showpiece.

However, members of the city council claimed that if the statue is restored, it would be a part of the Stalin Museum and would be celebrating neither the Soviet totalitarian era or the tyrannical dictator himself.

The Stalin statue was dismantled in June 2010 and stored face-down on the outskirts of Gori. To evade protests by locals, authorities took it down at night, without prior public debate or notification.

To a small group of people who support the idea of a Soviet system in Georgia, Stalin himself remains popular in his birthplace Gori.

In December 2012, Gori municipality, which was then served by National Movement members, decided to restore the statue and released money for doing this in the 2013 municipal budget.

29 September 2015 17:57