Last Update: 09 April, 2003
IRON FELIX TO STAY PUT
The Moscow City Duma's monuments committee rejected an appeal by Communist Party members in Irkutsk for Dzerzhinsky's return. The Communists said in a letter sent last month that the monument to Dzerzhinsky was a "symbol of the fight against crime."
A long-simmering drive to resurrect Dzerzhinsky from his graveyard at the Central House of Artists gained momentum in October when Luzhkov declared that the 16-ton statue was an "excellent" monument that had been "the highlight of Lubyanskaya Ploshchad." "We should remember that he solved the problem of homeless children and bailed out the railroads in a period of devastation," Luzhkov said at the time.
His remarks were an about-face from four years earlier when he fiercely opposed the statue's return. Liberal politicians slammed Luzhkov for supporting the return of a man blamed for the deaths of millions in the 1920s and 1930s.
The statue, one of the more notorious icons of the Soviet past, was toppled from its pedestal near the former headquarters of the KGB by protesters after the failed coup by Communist hard-liners in August 1991.
Dzherzhinsky's statue along with with other communist statues were daubed in grafitti and unceremoniously dumped in the park next to the Central House of Artists in Moscow. However, in recent years the statues have been cleaned up and returned to an upright position in in the sculpture park.