Second Stalin statue vanishes

Monday 28 June 2010 00:00 BST

Authorities in Georgia tore down another monument to Josef Stalin.

The statue in Tkibuli in western Georgia was taken down two days after authorities tore down a bigger and more famous monument to Stalin in his hometown of Gori, pictured. Both statues were brought down in the middle of the night in an apparent attempt to avoid protests and media attention.

Stalin was born to a modest family of cobblers in 1878. Both monuments in his honour were erected before his death in 1953. The Georgian government says a younger generation who have embraced Western ideals of freedom favour the dismantling of Stalin's monuments. "A memorial to Stalin has no place in the Georgia of the 21st century," President Mikhail Saakashvili said. Culture Minister Nikolos Rurua said the government would also soon rename Georgian streets still carrying Stalin's name.

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