Rally held in Georgia's Gori to demand Stalin monument return

Members of the Glory to Stalin society staged a rally in Joseph Stalin's home town of Gori to demand that the monument to the former Soviet leader, removed from the central square three years ago, be returned to the local residents.

Members of the Glory to Stalin society staged a rally in Joseph Stalin's home town of Gori to demand that the monument to the former Soviet leader, removed from the central square three years ago, be returned to the local residents.

The demonstrators gathered near the administration headquarters to demand that the monument be set up in Stalin's house-museum, as local officials had promised.

"We want them to return the monument just as easily as they removed it. Stalin was a great personality. He was born in Georgia, in Gori, and he deserves to have a monument in his native town. We are holding peaceful rallies now, but we can opt for worse ways," an activist told reporters.

A monument to Stalin was removed from the central square in Gori in 2010. Officials pledged to relocate the monument to Stalin's house-museum several hundred meters from the central square. But the statue was subsequently found lying facedown amid ruins of an old building several kilometers away from Gori.

Georgian officials later said they were planning to set up a monument to victims of Stalin's reprisals and of the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 in the central square of Gori.

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