Lithuania wants to pull down the monument to Soviet poet Petras Cvirka

The demolition would be a tribute to Stalinist terror victims, MPs say

On June 2, 2020, two members of the Lithuanian parliament representing the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats political faction, Arvydas Anušauskas and Audronius Ažubalis, asked Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius and members of the city council to speed up the demolition of the monument to Soviet poet Petras Cvirka in the capital’s center. 

“Now that the 80th anniversary of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania is coming, the monument to Petras Cvirka, who brought about the so-called ‘Stalin’s sun’, is still there in the center of Vilnius,” reads the MPs’ request. Mr. Anušauskas and Mr. Ažubalis believe the demolition of the monument would be a symbolic tribute to “Stalinist terror victims”.

“Appointed a representative of a bogus People’s Seimas and a member of a collaborator delegation, Petras Cvirka traveled to Moscow in 1940 to ask for the incorporation of Lithuania in the Soviet Union.” the MPs claimed that “it is inappropriate that a monument to the person now stands in a very special place in Vilnius.”

The response from the mayor was that no decision related to the Cvirka monument was going to be taken before the parliamentary elections. Mr. Šimašius also requested that the subject should not be politicized and exploited.  

To Lithuania’s political right, the Cvirke monument has long been a headache. Vilnius district authorities has already made attempts to demolish the monument, but the country’s Ministry of Culture refuses to issue the permit since the monument is on the conservation list. The Lithuanian Writers’ Association is also against the demolition.

Earlier, Laurynas Kasčiūnas and Audronius Ažubalis, MPs from Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, rose to defend the memory of Jonas Norejka, a co-participant of the Holocaust. They also brought in a new bill in the Seimas, introducing a new memorable date, “the Day of Soviet Aggression against Europe” (September the 17th).

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