Latvian Artists' Union ready to store dismantled Soviet monuments

Latvian municipalities have taken to dismantling the Soviet regime's monuments. The Latvian Artists' Union has volunteered to help with depositing and storing them after removal, Latvian Television reported May 22.

The so-called House of Artists is a place where ideological monuments ordered by the regime's authorities were also produced during the Soviet rule, said Igors Dobičins, head of the union.

“Inevitably, because this was, so to say, a production plant. Factory “Art.” It was the only place to do the work,” Dobičins said.

Therefore, in some ways, it is even logical that today the Artists Union has expressed its willingness to deposit Soviet monuments. Under the ideology, there is often a performance that is important to art history.

“Of course, ideologically, it may be that this work is not compatible with this day's environment and the demands of this day. We can separate this ideological field and look at the work of art, the quality of the performance, at the compositions as it was created. This should be preserved because these qualities are heritable,” Dobičins said.

Dismantled Soviet monuments could be stored is the creative block of the Artists Union in Rīga, Gaujas Street. There, they could serve as reference material for young sculptors and a research facility for art scientists or historians.

One of the first municipalities that has shown interest in the offer of the Artists Union is Ropažu Municipality, which plans to dismantle several Soviet monuments. 

“I'm sorry, if we dismantled this, where would we put it? Bury in the ground? Well then we would pollute the earth! Therefore, this offer by the Union of Artists to make a sort of deposit by accumulating the cultural or artistic experience in a place they know is a very good solution,” said Haralds Burkovskis, Vice-President of the City Council of Ropažu (National Alliance).

Other municipalities, such as Smiltene, have also shown interest. The Artists Union would also be prepared to deposit some monumental fragments of Uzvaras Park memorial.
 

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