Source Pravda.Ru

Monument to Soviet Soldiers Causes Polemics in Latvia

The Russian Embassy in Latvia has financially helped to restore a monument to Soviet soldiers who liberated Riga from the Nazi occupants while Riga's authorities have contributed to lighting up the nearby square. As the local news agency of LETA has learnt from the Riga State Duma fraction For Human Rights in Unified Latvia, many of the buildings surrounding the monuments could easily be turned into a museum. The monument's creators have suggested modifying it to fit the times and call it the Victory Monument, but the Riga State Duma council in charge of monuments has overruled the proposal insisting that the ideological significance of the monument should not be changed. Sculptors Alexander Bugaev, Viktor Zilgavis and Leonid Kristovskis, the creators of the monument, believe it should become a memorial place dedicated to all the members of the anti-Nazi coalition and the State banners of the 15 former soviet republics should be replaced with the State banners of all the countries that fought against Nazi Germany. They also propose setting up an exposition relating the history of those times with plaques commemorating those who lay in the bed of honour.

The monument's architect Edwin Vetsumniekc and engineer Henriis Latsis, on the other hand, spoke against any of the changes mentioned above. They firmly believe the monument should keep its original appearance and name, though, they agree, placing a plaque explaining its historical meaning and why it is there could be a good idea.

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