August 26, 2013, 00:01 | World | Michael Vignansky, Tbilisi
Decided to restore to Gori, Stalin’s birthplace, the most famous monument in the Soviet leader. It was dismantled in 2010. Work will begin in the next ten days. The authorities of the city, located 80 kilometers west of Tbilisi, contributed to this 25 thousand lari ($ 15 thousand). Local communities felt that this may not be enough. And without delay to the monument opened on 21 December, at the 134th birth anniversary of national, established the National Fund for the restoration of the monument.
– According to our calculations, we need to raise about 20 thousand lari ($ 12 million) to accurately close the issue. Bank account number will announce on August 27. Already there are people willing to transfer their savings, as a matter of honor Gori – to keep his story – told “Izvestia” the head of the Gori office of the United Communist Party of Georgia Alexander Lursmanishvili.
For the restoration of the monument have collected 10 thousand signatures.
In Gori, Soso (Iosif) Dzhugashvili lived for 16 years until he went to study at the Tiflis Theological Seminary. His monument was erected during his lifetime – in 1952. Now the bronze Stalin did not take place in the central square, and a little further – the house-museum of the leader.
Dismantled its former Georgian authorities under cover of night, knowing that it will cause the protest Gorians. Stalin understood as a “Soviet legacy”, banned several years ago adopted the Freedom Charter, which equated to a fascist symbols of communism. Then monument long to find. Finally found it in Karaleti, 7 km from Gori, in the now disused industrial zone. Stalin lying in the mud of bricks, face to the ground.
Lursmanishvili assures that the political agenda in the restoration of the monument there. The monument is sure to attract even more visitors to the house-museum, where there are such precious artifacts Stalin, such as overcoat, boots, snorkel, utensils, telephone. The museum opened in 1957. Last year it was visited by over 30 thousand visitors. In the seven months of this – more than 22 thousand, 19 thousand of them – foreigners.
The largest flow in March (the day of the death of the leader) in December (the birthday), and in May – Victory Day. The ticket with the guide are 15 lari ($ 9). Two years ago, the Stalin Museum has signed a cooperation agreement with the Museum of the Shaoshan Mao Zedong, home of the Great Helmsman. After that, it began to happen especially many Chinese visitors. The museum kiosk are popular souvenirs with the image of Stalin, despite the considerable cost. The leader was promoted brand. A bottle of wine with his portrait costs 40 lari ($ 25), a set of six glasses with cardboard boxes under the picture of the leader – half as much. There are mugs, water bottles, key rings.
Professor of History of Caucasus University in Tbilisi Zurab Bragvadze told “Izvestia” that the decision to return the monument should be viewed as a “tribute to the stories.”
– Remove it at night without talking to Gorians – that it was the political will of the former authorities. Maybe it is true, why such a monument to totalitarianism, but the circumstances of how it was done, left a lot of questions – said the historian. – The Georgians should not be complex in relation to the fact that there are monuments to Stalin, his house-museum. People are curious to know where he was born and grew a man who played a grand role in the entire era. No one denies his sins, but have an interest in Napoleon or Genghis Khan, it will be so in relation to Stalin.
During the War of 2008 became a front city of Gori, but no museum or monument is not affected. Only some of the exhibits were taken to the Directorate of Tbilisi. But then everything back into place. Later in the media leaked information that the then leaders of Georgia already in the days of armed conflict have planned “revenge” on Stalin. In particular, the then chairman of the parliamentary committee on defense and national security George (Givi) Targamadze allegedly offered the Russian military $ 50 million for the bombing of the monument, but they refused