Friday, 29 November 2019

Marshal Konev's statue sprayed with colour in Prague

ČTK |
9 May 2018

Prague, May 8 (CTK) - The statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague was sprayed with colour last night, police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told journalists on Tuesday, adding that the police were investigating the case.

The statue was already sprayed last year. This time, the town hall will have it cleansed, Prague 6 deputy mayor Jan Lacina said.

At the end of World War Two in May 1945, Konev (1897-1973) helped liberate Prague.

There have been controversies over the statue due to Konev's participation in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising against the Communist regime in 1956 and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

Zoulova said the perpetrators had poured colour on the statue last night.

"Now the police are evaluating the CCTV footage from the area," she added.

"Marshal Konev's statue is pink again. On behalf of the town hall I say that we will cleanse it again and that we will install three bronze plaques with the Czech, Russian and English text by the end of June explaining the real history there," Lacina said.

Someone also sprayed the years 1956 and 1968 on the plinth of the statue. There is also the text "The one who never shot."

On the twitter, the spraying was claimed by the group calling itself Czech Patriots. It said it highly esteemed the Soviet soldiers who stood up against Nazis, but it refused the abuse of their heroism by the Communist propaganda and uncritical celebrations of Konev.

Lacina said the text of the bronze plaque was already finished and checked by two crucial institutions, the Military History Institute and the Institute for Contemporary history of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

"I hope the passions will be then over," Lacina said.

He said the memorial needed a large repair, since its marble slabs were in a very bad state.

In November 2014, the statue was also painted pink.

Last November, someone sprayed the years 1956, 1961, 1968 and 2017 on the plinth. Moscow then officially protested.

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