Georgia: Stalin museum to show how tyrant ruled by terror

A museum that for 75 years has honoured Joseph Stalin is to show the atrocities committed under his rule.

Georgia's Culture Minister Nika Rurua said his nation, which became independent in 1991, can no longer host a museum "glorifying the Soviet dictator". The gigantic building opened in 1937, at the height of Stalin's purges, and includes the house where Stalin was born in the central Georgian town of Gori. There are also 47,000 exhibits, including personal items and death masks. The museum remained open despite the de-Stalinisation drive and denunciation of his personality cult declared by Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev in 1956.

Georgia's pro-West government has been removing traces of the Soviet past, and sees the museum as an anachronism that attracts foreigers and a few Communists. Stalin, who died in 1953, remains a divisive issue in the former Soviet Union.