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Planned Statue of Ivan the Terrible in Russia's Oryol Postponed After Local Outrage

The planned installation of a monument to Ivan the Terrible in the city of Oryol has been postponed until September so the regional government can gauge the public's opinion on the plan, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.

Vadim Potomsky, the governor of the Oryol region, 350 kilometers southwest of Moscow, revealed this month that Russia’s first monument to the infamous 16th-century ruler would be installed on Aug. 3 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the city’s founding as a fortress to protect Russia’s southern borders.  

Victor Pankov, the author of a petition against the monument told local media that local objections don’t relate to the statue itself but rather to its proposed location, in front of the city’s historic theater.

Activist Yury Maliutin is currently suing Oryol’s mayor, Vasily Novikov, for destroying the historic character of the city, RIA Novosti reported.

Governor Potomsky said that he had met with community groups and acknowledged that there were objections to the location of the monument, saying he hoped that a "compromise" would be found.

Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia for 51 years during which time he established a centralized Russian state and acquired vast territories through military conquest. His paranoid and violent nature which saw him found Russia’s first secret police force, murder his son in a fit of rage and blind the architect of Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.

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