Credit line: Profimedia

Contentious Lenin statue in Estonia moved to museum

1 min read

The Estonian city of Narva, right on the border with Russia, has removed a Soviet-era statue of communist revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

It was erected 65 years ago, when Estonia was a Soviet republic under the thumb of Moscow. Now, the Baltic state is a member of the EU and NATO – and is one of Europe’s loudest voices championing an uncompromising response toward Russia over the war in Ukraine.

The statue, in which Lenin poses proudly with one arm outstretched, has been moved from the city that sits on Estonia’s easternmost tip to the Estonian War Museum in the capital Tallinn.

In the spring, the statue is to be handed over to the Estonian History Museum in Tallinn, which has an outdoor exhibition of Soviet-era statues.

The bronze statue, some 4 meters high, of the leader of the October Revolution of 1917 and later founder of the Soviet Union, was originally unveiled in Narva on November 7, 1957. 

In 1993, after Estonia regained independence, it was moved from on Narva’s central square to a more inconspicous site in corner of the courtyard of Hermann Castle – the biggest tourist attraction in Narva, whose population is more than 90% ethnic Russian.

In Estonia, a debate over the removal of Soviet monuments from public spaces flared up after the Russian invasion on Ukraine in February.

Unlike the relocation of a controversial Soviet tank monument from Narva in the summer, the removal of the Lenin statue had been decided several years ago because of the upcoming renovation of the castle courtyard – but a follow-up solution for its whereabouts had only been decided recently.

Estonia was alternately occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany during World War II. After the end of the war, the Baltic state remained a part of the Soviet Union until 1991. ©dpa

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