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21.05.2000

The war of monuments

   

On the 1 May in Simferopol the secretary of the Crimean eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox church of Kyivan patriarchy Father Pavel sanctified the place on which the bust of the well-known human rights protection activist Piotr Grigorenko will be erected.

On 10 May the same place was sanctified by a Moslem priest.

On 14 May leaders of the party ‘Soyuz’ declared that side by side with the Grigorenko’s bust they were going to restore the monument of Empress Catherine the Great.

The initiative to erect the bust belongs to Crimean Tartars and representatives of Ukrainian public organizations of the Crimea. The bust was made in Poltava by Grigorenko’s grand-nephew Aleksandr Tarasenko. The bust was presented to the capital of the Crimea. Grigorenko’s supporters wanted to erect the bust in front of the movie theatre ‘Simferopol’. The city authorities were unwilling to erect the bust in this place and wanted to remove it, but the Crimean Tartars then threatened to remove monuments of Lenin, which abound in the Crimea.

However, the central Kyivan government sent a letter to the Simferopol authorities not to strain the situation. The city authorities, ready to conflict with the Crimean Tartars, preferred not to quarrel with their bosses. Thus, on 17 May, the bust was finally erected to commemorate the man who fought for the return of Crimean Tartars to their native land.

Bulletin ‘Crimean review’, special issue of 21 May 1999

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