Soviet-Era Symbols

Parliament passed on May 31 package of legislative proposals known as ‘Liberty Charter’, which among other things, also envisages restricting public display of Soviet and Nazi symbols. While latter are actually non-existent in Georgia for public display, there is abundance of the Soviet symbols in the streets and on buildings of Tbilisi and other towns of Georgia – leftovers from the Soviet times. The newly adopted law says that its goal, among other things, is to eradicate “Soviet and Nazi symbols, monuments, statues, [Soviet] names of streets, villages and settlements, as well as other means bearing Soviet and Nazi propaganda and ideology.” According to the law a state commission should be established at the Interior Ministry in charge of collecting information about Soviet symbols available for public display and then will take decision on each such symbol or street and village name associated with the Soviet past. Critics say that the full enforcement of the law through destroying all the material leftovers from the Soviet times would lead to destruction or defacement of many buildings, which already represent part of Georgia’s history.

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