Vilnius to remove memorial to Soviet soldiers from Antakalnis cemetery by November 1

  • 2022-09-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Vilnius Municipality expects to make a final decision on the removal of a memorial to Soviet soldiers from the capital's Antakalnis Cemetery in October and, if the city's council gives the final go-ahead, the complex should be taken down by November 1.

The municipality said on Friday that the council on October 5 is expected to adopt its final decision to take over the sculptures from the state, opening the way for the authorities to start removing the complex.  

Vilnius politicians voted unanimously back in early June to remove the six grey granite statues of Soviet World War Two soldiers, but this cannot be done until the transfer of ownership from the state to the municipality has been completed. 

"As planned, the monument to Soviet soldiers will be removed, trying not to damage it, with the work planned to be completed before November 1," the municipality said in a release. 

"The location of the monuments after the removal – whether in a museum or elsewhere – remains to be decided, but it is clear that they will no longer be in the capital's public space," it added. 

The council adopted a similar decision last year before the removal of a monument to Petras Cvirka, a prominent Soviet-era author and political activist, from a square in central Vilnius in November.