More monuments might be hidden from public space in Rīga

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Monuments for the writer Andrejs Upīts, Soviet mathematician Mstislavs Keldišs, poet Alexander Pushkin, and other figures should be taken away from Rīga city center, according to Rīga City Council's Monument board, Latvian Television reported March 3. 

Rīga City Council's monument authority has received submissions to remove the monuments of Upīts, Keldišs, writers Sudrabu Edžus and Anna Sakse, historian Jānis Zutis, and others from the public space, since these people, were supporters of the Soviet Union. 

"These are people who were not only were collaborants, they are people who actively implemented the occupation of Latvia," said Didzis Šēnbergs, board member of the Public memory center.

There was a lot of debate whether this is really necessary.

"None of these monuments would have been placed in Rīga if Latvia wasn't occupied by the Soviet Union," said deputy Māris Mičerevskis.

"We are cleaning our home, we make it one that we want to see in the future," said deputy Rita Eva Našeniece.

"I don't see house cleaning here. Our history is like a book from which we are trying to rip pages out. A new power will come in 100 years and tear down the National Library or something like that," said Miroslavs Mitrofanovs.

Sculptor Gļebs Panteļejevs said: "Monument destruction is a fun thing. [..] The more we take down, the more we want. Which is next?"

Occupation museum's director Solvita Vība said: "I'd rather see, on my way to university, a monument to Jānis Endzelīns, not Mstislavs Keldišs."

The monument board decided on the removal of Keldišs, Upīts and Pushkin. The decision is of a recommendatory nature and the fate of the monuments is in the hands of the city council.  

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