05/12/2011, 00.00
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Moscow Patriarchate wants days set aside to cleanse Russia of “monster” Lenin

by Nina Achmatova
The head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Relations with the Armed Forces wants all images of the father of the October Revolution placed in the dustbin of history. Only those that have some “artistic value” might be saved in open-air space of museums, where they can “be worn down by time”. He also wants Bolshevik names removed from streets and cities, but says about Stalin
Moscow (AsiaNews) – Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for Relations with the Armed Forces, said that certain days should be set aside for volunteers to cleanse Russia of all traces of the “monster” Lenin.

In a message on his video-blog, picked up by the Interfax news agency, the clergyman called for the creation of “all-Russian” Saturdays to erase the name of Vladimir Ilych Ulianov.

“We already have a tradition of removing the garbage that has accumulated over the winter, so it is reasonable to broaden that activity to include monuments and signs that bear the name of that monster,” he said.

Smirnov’s iconoclastic fury is not total though. He would spare those effigies with the “monster’s face” that have a certain artistic value. “They could be put in a museum [. . .], preferably in an open-air space so that they could be worn down by time.”

Russia “never had a monster like him before,” the priest said. For this reason, it must cleanse itself “of his name and those of his evil aides” the way Germany removed the name of Hitler and his acolytes.

In order to “de-intoxicate the spiritual climate” of the country, Smirnov would also remove Bolshevik names from all the streets and cities of Russia.

The archpriest did not say anything however, about the other major historical figure that divides Russian public opinion, namely Stalin.

President Dmitri Medvedev has. Recently, he floated the idea of launching a de-Stalinisation campaign that would include opening up the archives from the Stalinist era of repression as well as commemorating the victims of Stalinist terror.

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