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Published: 5 august 2019 10:35

Alvydas Nikžentaitis. From L. Gira to General Vėtra – the drive for removal of monuments and Lithuanian delusions on the politics of history

Alvydas Nikžentaitis
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Alvydas Nikžentaitis

Lithuania has renewed its drive for the destruction of historical signs. The first wave passed through Lithuania after Lithuania regained its independence and ended around 1998 with the establishment of the Soviet sculpture park in Grūtas. Such steps were necessary then and almost universally accepted.

The origins of the current trend appear to be associated with events in Ukraine in 2014. It is evident that Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the invasion of eastern Ukraine created significant anxiety, even in Lithuania. Later, this anxiety only intensified, and its peculiar discharge manifested itself in the removal of remaining symbols of Soviet past from public spaces. High levels of discussion centred upon the removal of sculpture figures from Green Bridge in 2015. In fact, this process started earlier. In September 2013, occurring during the night much like the Green Bridge sculptures, the bust of writer Liudas Gira was removed from the square in front of the then Ministry of Education and Science.

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