Stalin monument to be restored in hometown

Dec. 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

GORI, Georgia, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A monument to Joseph Stalin that was removed in 2010 in his native town in Georgia is to be put back in the community's central square, officials said Friday.

A petition to restore the monument gathered 5,000 signatures from residents of Gori in October, RIA Novosti reported.

In a post on the regional government website, officials said money has been appropriated for restoration in 2013.

Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in 1878 and lived in Gori until he was 4. His birthplace is now part of the Stalin Museum, which opened in 1937 when he was the leader of the Soviet Union.

After the monument was removed, officials said it would be placed in the museum but it was later discovered on the ground near a building several miles outside of town.

The monument, a pillar topped by a statue of Stalin, had survived the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union after his death and Georgia's independence in 1991.

Gori is a regional administrative center about 47 miles from the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, and was a major industrial town under the Soviet Union.

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