Dismantling of Soviet monuments could be made compulsory in Latvia / Article

The law on the prohibition of the exhibition of objects glorifying the Soviet and Nazi regime and their dismantling on the territory of the Republic of Latvia will be considered in the first reading this week and is expected to be adopted by June 16.

There are plans to set a specific deadline of November 15, 2022, by which time specific sites must be taken down, said Ritvars Jansons, Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Culture (National Alliance). The conditions will not apply to war graves and cemeteries.

“The dismantling requirement will only apply to monuments,” Jansons said.

It is expected that the dismantling will be financed mainly by donations from natural and legal persons (individuals and organizations, including companies) for this purpose. Other necessary funds could come from the budgetary resources of the state and the local government concerned, said the press service of the Saeima.

The bill also includes specific provisions for the dismantling of objects, including the provision that the local government concerned will be authorized to propose dismantling regardless of the owner of the site without coordination with the owner or legal owner of the land or of the object. .

It is expected that the original parts or fragments of dismantled objects with recognized artistic value or educational significance will be kept by the Occupation Museum.

In total, there are about 300 monuments, memorial plaques and memorial sites dedicated to the Soviet occupation regime and its army, as stated in the bill’s annotation.

As LSM has repeatedly reported, special attention has recently been paid to Soviet monuments, in particular the memorial in Uzvaras Park in Riga.

It should be noted that at present the law is only at the draft stage and will have to negotiate several readings and debates in the Saeima to enter into force. During this process, it will also be subject to change.

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