TBILISI, DFWatch — A statue of Joseph Stalin in a town east in Georgia which was dismantled in 2011 has been restored.
According to Information Center of Kakheti, locals Sunday morning discovered the restored Stalin statue in Akhmeta. The monument of the Soviet dictator is still wrapped up awaiting an opening ceremony in a few days.
Davit Kaadze, trustee of a nearby village, tells journalists he wasn’t informed about the restoration and doesn’t know who made the decision.
“I was supporting to restore it. Whatever it is, it is history. I didn’t support taking it away,” he said, adding that the statue has been kept at one of the local construction firms.
It also emerged that the local council is not familiar with the reopening of the recently dismantled monument, but that they also support its restoration.
Zakaria Kinkladze, chair of Akhmeta Council, claims he is not supporter of Stalinism, but says it is part of history and a symbol of the resistance against Nazism in WWII.
“I was supporting the restoration of the statue, not because it is related to collectivization and the Soviet system, but because it is related to the war,” he says.
ICK reports that the initiative came from Akhmeta municipality, but its representatives do not make any comments.
June 17 of 2011 in the morning locals of Akhmeta discovered that the statue of Joseph Stalin disappeared. It was dismantled at night, and municipality and council representatives claimed they knew nothing about the dismantling beforehand.
Now, the dictator may also be back in public view in his hometown Gori, west in the country. June 25, 2010, the monument of Stalin was removed from the central square. This also took place in the middle of the night, and was a controversial decision which the local population protested against next day, demanding to bring it back.
It is not known exactly where the monument is right now, but the new government which came to power after the October 1 election says it will consider restoring the famous statue.
Guram Odisharia, the new culture minister, does not exclude that the statue might really be restored, but says the issue needs to be studied. It depends on how many people support restoration; then the local government will decide.
Some locals in Gori have gathered signatures to restore the Stalin statue.