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Moscow Mayor Earmarks $1M for Stolypin Statue

In a sign that President Vladimir Putin has failed to drum up donations for a monument to pre-revolutionary reformer Pyotr Stolypin, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has allocated 30 million rubles ($1 million) from Moscow's city budget for its construction.

The grant will go to the Pyotr Stolypin Heritage Studies Fund, which has been raising money for the monument since the laying of a foundation stone near the White House last year, Interfax reported Monday, citing City Hall.

Putin, as prime minister, urged government officials last year to donate toward the cost of the monument during a meeting of the organizing committee for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Stolypin's birth. He suggested opening a bank account to collect donations, saying that the total cost was small and that it will be "easily collected."

He added that should the money not be enough, it would be allocated from the government's reserve fund.

The monument is likely to be erected before the end of this year to mark the anniversary of the statesman's birth on April 14, 1862, Interfax said.

Stolypin was a prime minister and prominent statesman of imperial Russia, remembered for his reforms aimed at modernizing the lives of peasants. He was assassinated while attending a Kiev theatrical performance in 1911. The motive for his killing remains unclear, although some scholars believe it was ordered by monarchists fearful of his reforms.

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