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Friday, 11 September 2009 10:25

Pushkin Monument Comes Under Attack

MOSCOW, Sept 14 (Buziness Africa) - Another anti-Russian scandal is gathering pace connected with the monument to Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian writer and poet, which is planned to be installed in the center of Latvia’s capital, Riga, Buziness Africa monitors from Moscow.


Latvian nationalists claim that the poet is a symbol of the Russian empire and therefore can not be placed in the city. Sixty individuals - politicians and public figures - addressed to Riga’s Mayor Nil Ushakov and Latvia’s President Valdis Zatlers with an open letter.


The people protested against the plans to install a monument to Pushkin in the park named after Atis Kronvalds - a prominent member of the Latvian national revival of the middle of the 19th century.


“Alexander Pushkin entered world history as a national writer of the Russian empire period. Pushkin’s work marks the rise of the Russian literature. The works are devoted to the development of the Russian culture. It is connected with the values of the Russian nation, but not Europe, which Atis Kronvalds represented,” the authors of the open letter wrote.


“Erecting the monument to Pushkin in Kronvalds’s park is not only a mockery of Atis Kronvalds. It is at least unethical, inadmissible and should be condemned as an action against Latvian and European values,” they wrote.


Elias Ashebir, counsellor at the Ethiopian embassy, told Buziness Africa in Moscow that Ethiopians and many historians believe that Pushkin was a gift of Abyssinia, as Ethiopia was called at the time, to then Imperial Russia and was a living testimony of Russian blood ties with Ethiopia.


“It is said that Pushkins great grandfather was taken from Ethiopia to Turkey then to Russia where he became the favoured foster child of Peter the Great, who studied in France and was responsible for building military fortifications in Russia. Whatever the details of these historical events, Pushkin remains a common cultural and literary heritage between Russia and Ethiopia and indeed with Africa and the world as a whole.”


Sergey Mikheyev, the president of the Political Technologies Center, said in an interview with Russian Pravda newspaper that it was ridiculous to see a threat from a monument.


“It is absurd to say that the monument personifies Russia’s imperial influence. It is absolutely irrational to fight with monuments and assert oneself through that. It is impossible to deal with the people who see a Russian threat in everything,” Mikheyev said in conclusion.




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