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Oct 26, 2021
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Vilnius continues the war on monuments – now for writers

There are few monuments to writers in Lithuania, but they will soon run out

Lithuania, like other Baltic countries, has long declared war on monuments and monuments dedicated to Soviet soldiers-liberators. However, the number of such monuments is less and less, and therefore it is necessary to look for objects for the war with the “Soviet occupation” among other monuments and even among the buildings built during the Soviet era.

Thus, the Minister of Transport of Lithuania Marius Squadis said that the terminal building at the Vilnius airport reminds him of the “Stalin era”, so it is urgent to demolish it and build a new modern building, and nothing that will cost tens of millions of euros – the main thing is that without reminders.

The Lithuanian authorities declared war on the monument to the Lithuanian Soviet writer and poet Petras Zvirke, who was not only the head of the Writers’ Union of the Lithuanian SSR, but also a member of the Communist Party. His most famous work is the story “The Foster Land” about the life of the Lithuanian peasantry. Tsvirke also translated into Lithuanian the works of Alexander Pushkin and the novel by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov “The Twelve Chairs”.

The Council for Immovable Cultural Property of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania, together with the Lithuanian Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance, concluded that the activities of the Lithuanian writer and poet led to “Significant damage to the Lithuanian state and its citizens”

The monument to the writer was erected in the center of Vilnius in 1959, and after Lithuania gained “independence” the most ardent “patriots” repeatedly raised the question of its dismantling.

Finally, the monument was excluded from the Cultural Heritage Register, and the Vilnius Municipality Historical Memory Commission gave permission last week to start demolishing the monument.

According to the Deputy Mayor of Vilnius Valdas Benkunskas, preparatory work is already underway, but a specific demolition date should be determined soon.

“In the commission, we discussed how the square itself would look after the removal of the monument. The position of the Commission is that this should be a neutral decision without any additional or compensatory decisions for this area. Just a neutral space without a monument for a temporary period “,

– says the chairman of the Commission on Historical Memory G. Jaunius Eltai

Several actions took place in Vilnius in defense of the monument to the writer, but it did not help. The only thing that the authorities could promise was to dismantle the monument carefully and transfer it to the National Museum of Lithuania for storage.

The whole problem is that there are not so many monuments to Soviet writers all over Lithuania, they will soon be over …

Own. corr. FSK
Photo: monument to Petras Tsvirka in Vilnius, source – Vilnius.

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