TBILISI, DFWatch–A monument of Stalin has been installed in Telavi, a town in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region.
The new statue is the work of two organizations, Stalineli and Veteran Union, and the creation of the monument was financed by donations. It now stands at the World War II memorial in Telavi.
Veterans read poems about Joseph Stalin during the opening ceremony.
Later it came out that the local government wasn’t aware of the decision and no permission was given to put up the monument.
Dima Bochidze, head of Telavi town council, told journalists that the town’s supervisory service will study how the statue came about. He says this is a violation of law; it is not allowed to put up monuments without permission.
“Accordingly all measures will be taken to dismantle the monument,” he added.
The Saakashvili regime conducted a series of monument demolitions. Not only was the Stalin statue in the dictator’s hometown Gori removed from its pedestal in the middle of the night in June 2010 with no warning, but also a war memorial in Kutaisi honoring the Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II was blown to pieces with explosives.
Saakashvili’s movement was during its last years under pressure by a strong popular opposition bordering on revolution and sought to bolster its legitimacy by symbolic gestures and events that evoked a common enemy through a war against the worst wrongs of the past.
In Stalin’s hometown Gori, people are still waiting for a final decision by local authorities about what will happen to the statue that used to stand in the central square. The taking down of the Stalin statue in Gori was controversial, because although most Georgians reject what the dictator stood for, they recognize that he is an important part of the town’s history.
After the Georgian Dream coalition won a surprise victory in the October 2012 parliamentary election, monuments of Stalin that were taken down under Saakashvili have been put back up several places in Georgia. Some of the statues have been dyed pink by unknown protesters.