16 July 2008, 14:54
Moscow, July 15, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church suggests removing Soviet monuments from the central streets of Russian cities to deserted places.
"We are not vandals to destroy Soviet monuments. They should be removed to small public gardens and parks distant from central squares and streets," acting Church and society secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Fr. Georgy Ryabykh has told an Interfax-Religion correspondent.
According to him, the fact that today such monuments are located in front of administrative buildings on central squares "doesn't correspond to people's value preferences." He pointed out to "evident misbalance unfortunate for the modern Russian symbols," while the present generation prefers "such historical guides as St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Dimitry Donskoy, St. Sergius of Radonezh rather than omnipresent Lenin, Marx, Engels and other Communist ideologists."
Fr. Georgy doesn't agree with those who believe that removal of Soviet symbols can split public conscience. However, according to him, such a split is probable if the overwhelming part of society is forced to live in space of alien Soviet symbols our streets are stuffed with."
The priest believes it necessary to place modern Russian state emblem - a double-headed eagle - to the attics of administrative buildings.
"It is a usual practice in all countries of the world. There's nothing inadmissible in this request," the Russian Church representative stressed.
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