VILNIUS – Some Soviet memorials in Lithuania will disappear but their fate must be decided in a civilized way, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte has said.
“I am not surprised that discussions got more heated but it is perhaps our distinctive feature, that we are a democratic society, that discussions can take place and that they should take place. Some monuments or some other idols will disappear from our eyesight and I will hardly miss them too much,” she told reporters at the Seimas on Tuesday.
This issue had to be decided in a civilized way and the decisions made should be explained in order to avoid any accusations of “some barbarism or similar things,” the prime minister said.
Simonyte noted that the monuments varied greatly and in some cases it was “not too clear why they are considered some heritage and what is the type of that heritage”.
“Perhaps it is indeed time to resolve those issues and it is possible to resolve them, to confer the competence to resolve such issues,” she said.
Municipalities could resolve those issues independently by assessing the situation in their territory and taking decisions, Simonyte stated.
According to the data from the Culture Ministry, a total of 158 objects near the burial sites of Soviet troops are currently included in heritage lists in Lithuania in order “to protect them against certain provocations”.
Some 20 objects have already been crossed out from the registries of cultural heritage.
Last week, several municipalities asked the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Department to assess possibilities to lift legal protection of Soviet soldiers' memorials that would pave the way to remove the monuments.
Raseiniai municipality in particular took the initiative to cover the memorials temporarily pending the authorities’ decisions on the fate of monuments for the Red Army troops and other related memorial signs.