No-one Nose What Will Happen to Lenin Now

An attack which swiped off the nose of the only surviving statue of Lenin in Kiev, has triggered a debate about whether it should be removed permanently or restored and returned to its spot.

While most of the humongous hulks of Lenin in Eastern Europe were torn down, this one clung on to its pole position in the city's main thoroughfare, Shevchenko's Boulevard, partly because it was crafted by the renowned Soviet era sculptor, Sergey Merkurov.

The blow to the ex-Soviet's leader's snout was dealt by the right-wing Ukrainian Nationalist Congress Party, which proudly owned up to the act of sabotage. While city officials have stated that they will raise the funds to repair the statue, it's not so clear if it will return to its original spot. Some locals who have visited the defaced monument have declared that the statue must be repaired and kept 'as you can't erase history', while others have argued, perhaps convincingly, that no statues of Hitler survived in Germany - no matter how artistic they were.

Despite the statue's reminder for many of the bad old days of Soviet repression, ironically some are worried that losing the statue will damage Shevchenko's Boulevard. They fear that once it goes from the 4km boulevard, the longest in Europe, the space will simply be gobbled up by Kiev's ever increasing traffic, turning Shevchenko into another noisy, polluted Ukrainian highway.

To date, the fate of this defender of urban sprawl hangs in the balance.


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