Tartu bans Soviet symbol from roadside

  • 2001-02-15
  • Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - Citizens in the Estonian city of Tartu have collected 245 signatures against the advertisement of a small gas station, Vostok Oil, which depicts a symbol of the Soviet Union - the hammer and sickle.

On Feb. 6, TartuÕs municipality decided not to allow this kind of advertising in the area immediately next to the street at 28 Ringtee, near the center of town.

ÒThe symbols of the hammer and sickle is not prohibited in Estonia,Ó said Juri Molder, Tartu city secretary. ÒBut as the owner of the land beside the road, the city of TartuÕs refused to give its consent. According to EstoniaÕs Law on Roads, permission has to be received from the owner of the road before an advertisement is placed.Ó He said that the municipality would have had nothing to say if the ad had been placed a little further away from the land they own. He said that the law does not prohibit these kinds of pictures, and in other similar cases the city government may have had a reverse opinion.

ÒThe city government is of the opinion that as the owner of the property it is not obliged to give reasons for its decision,Ó said Molder. ÒWe took into consideration the opinion of the citizens of Tartu.Ó