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HomeLithuaniaPlans to remove Soviet pedestal, altar at Antakalnis Cemetery in Vilnius by...

Plans to remove Soviet pedestal, altar at Antakalnis Cemetery in Vilnius by mid-February

There are plans to remove a Soviet-era pedestal and altar at Antakalnis Cemetery by the middle of February.

Just over a year ago, sculptures of Soviet soldiers were also removed from the cemetary and the Vilnius City Council decided to hand them over to Grutas Park of Soviet monument in southern Lithuania for display for at least 20 years.

“Moreover, the council approved the proposal of the Historical Memory Commission to maintain the monument scheme and to dismantle the remaining pedestal and altar at Antakalnis Cemetery, which, according to the commission, are an integral part of the monument,” Gabrielius Grubinskas, spokesperson for the Vilnius authorities, told BNS. “Once the pedestal and the altar at Antakalnis Cemetery are dismantled, all the elements of the composition will be taken to Grutas Park,” he said.

The works will be carried out by LB Construction, a company that won the tender called by Grinda, a municipal enterprise, for around 71 000 euros. The contract was signed in mid-January and the pedestal and the altar are to be removed within four weeks, Grinda told BNS.

The Vilnius authorities decided to dismantle the statues of Soviet soldiers in June 2022 after the Department of Cultural Heritage changed the criteria for the evaluation of immovable cultural properties. The move followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted Lithuanian municipalities to start removing symbols of occupation.

The decision to remove the statues at Antakalnis Cemetery was appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which granted interim measures, and they are still in place.

The committee was asked for interim measures by the applicants who identified themselves as “ethnic Russians” and they included Kazimieras Juraitis, Dmitrij Glazkov, Tatiana Brandt and Anastasija Brandt.

However, despite the interim measures, the statues were removed as the Justice Ministry and Vilnius City Council argued that the United Nations Committee had been misled.

The statues are currently stored at a site operated by Grinda.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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