Councilors in Sofia approved the Dismantling of the Monument to the Soviet Army
Municipal councilors from the commission for education and culture in Sofia voted "in favor" of dismantling and moving the monument to the Soviet Army.
With eight votes "in favor", zero "against" and one "abstention", the municipal councilors gave the green light for the dismantling of this 45-meter monument. "Democratic Bulgaria" voted for this, with support also coming from GERB. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) spoke against it, and they demonstratively left the hall before the vote.
"It is important to take a first step that has been expected for 30 years. The monument to the occupier, which is three times higher than that of Vasil Levski in Sofia, should free up this space," said Marta Georgieva from "Democratic Bulgaria".
"I think the time has come, historically, for this monument to be moved. I repeat - moved, not destroyed. It should go to its rightful place in the Museum of Socialist Art or wherever we decide," said Dr. Anton Koychev from GERB.
"We must leave the monuments where they are. Our struggle and battle with the monuments does not solve any problems. By the same logic, someone in this Municipal Council should decide to move the monument to the American pilots who bombed Sofia at the entrance to the Central Cemetery," countered Kaloyan Pargov from BSP.
The petition for the removal of the monument is from "Democratic Bulgaria" and was submitted for consideration three years ago. Support is now coming from GERB after the party's leader called on councilors to back its removal.
The commission adopted a report instructing the mayor of Sofia to request the state to move the "Monument to the Soviet Army", which is state property, from the "Prince's Garden" (Knyazheska Gradina) and to place the sculptural figures and bas-reliefs in the Museum of Art from the Socialist Period to the National Gallery or on other suitable terrain outside the central city part of Sofia. Tomorrow, the report on the relocation of the monument is to be considered by the Committee on Territorial Planning, Architecture and Housing Policy.
This Thursday, the issue will also be discussed at a session of the Municipal Council.
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