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2015.09.08 13:45

What should replace Green Bridge statues: Grand Duke Vytautas or Spongebob Squarepants?

DELFI.lt2015.09.08 13:45

Following a prolonged public debate, this week Vilnius authorities have removed four groups of Soviet-era statues that have stood on the Green Bridge since the early 1950s. What remain are four empty-looking pedestals overlooking the banks of the Neris River. People of Vilnius have already started making proposals for what should replace the old statues.

Following a prolonged public debate, this week Vilnius authorities have removed four groups of Soviet-era statues that have stood on the Green Bridge since the early 1950s. What remain are four empty-looking pedestals overlooking the banks of the Neris River. People of Vilnius have already started making proposals for what should replace the old statues.

In fact, the future of the Green Bridge is somewhat in a limbo. The structure, along with the four groups of statues depicting soldiers, farmers, workers and scholars that used to make integral part of it, is listed as protected heritage. This means that it cannot be legally altered or parts of it removed. The new liberal mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, therefore quoted safety reasons for removing the statues. Heavily corroded iron edifices presented danger to pedestrians crossing the bridge, he said. Then, with a smirk worthy of a politician, he added that the city did not plan to spend a dime on repairing the statues or have them returned to the site.

Whatever the future of the four sculptures - examples of the Soviet-era socialist realism art - might be, people of Vilnius have already started making suggestions for what monumental artefacts could replace them. The proposals range from serious - like statues of Lithuania's grand dukes - to tongue-in-cheek, like monuments for Spongebob Squarepants or the Teletubbies.