Lenin statue blown up in Russia's Saint Petersburg: police

7th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Unidentified attackers blew up a statue of Lenin in a suburb of Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg in the second such attack in the last two years, police said Tuesday.

The bronze statue of the Bolshevik leader in the suburb of Pushkin "was seriously damaged by the explosion, especially the base of the statue," a police spokesman said.

The force of the blast cracked the statue open along Lenin's waistline and twisted his coattails, but the statue remained standing on its granite base.

The explosion late on Monday night shattered the windows of a building opposite the statue, police said.

Saint Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko said Tuesday that she was outraged by the attack.

"Someone who lifts his hand against a monument is lifting a hand against history, a work of art and our citizens," Matviyenko told a city hall meeting, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

"Whatever they may think of Lenin, all the citizens of our city are outraged by this act," she said.

Lenin statues still remain numerous, especially in small towns, but are gradually falling into disrepair. Some have been targeted in apparent protests.

In April 2009, attackers blew a large hole in the buttocks of a Lenin statue that stands outside Saint Petersburg's Finland train station, where Lenin arrived back in Russia just before the 1917 revolution and gave a famous speech.

Police never caught the attackers but the statue was restored by the city authorities and replaced in April this year.

© 2010 AFP

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