A new bust of Soviet leader Josef Stalin unveiled Sept. 22 in Moscow is not a provocation, Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said Monday in an interview with the RBC news outlet.
The Military-Historical Society’s Alley of Rulers unveiled seven new busts of Russian rulers on Friday, including Vladimir Lenin and Stalin.
A woman protested the opening ceremony with a sign of Anna Akhmatova’s poem which refers to “sweet lovers of torture” and “experts in the manufacture of orphans.”
“I do not really understand what sort of provocation is happening,” Medinsky told the RBC news outlet. “As far as I know, there are about thirty busts of all the rulers of Russia, from Rurik to Kerensky and Prince Lvov.”
The Culture Minister added that excluding a bust of Stalin would be an act of historical deletion.
“If we cut something out of this story, then we’ll turn into Mankurts — people who do not remember their past,” Medinsky said.
A statue for President Boris Yeltsin is currently in the works and scheduled for an unveil next February, the culture minister added, saying that the Yeltsin bust will be the first installment in a series of busts of recent rulers.
Stalin is making a comeback in Russian society with one poll earlier this year ranking the totalitarian leader as the world’s most outstanding figure.