Russian lawmaker decries Stalin busts for sale

May 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM

MOSCOW, May 13 (UPI) -- A Russian lawmaker said busts of former dictator Josef Stalin shouldn't be sold at a kiosk in the Russian Parliament building.

Stalin, whose brutal 30-year reign saw millions of Russians killed in various political purges, has seen a bit of a comeback in recent years, thanks, in part, to an effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin to rehabilitate Stalin's image.

State-approved textbooks now describe the mustachioed dictator as an "effective manager," RIA Novosti said Monday. Older Russians in particular hold him in fair regard and opinion polls suggest about 1-in-4 Russians holds a favorable opinion of Stalin.

That shouldn't mean his bust should be sold in the Duma, legislator Sergei Minonov argued.

The statues don't come cheap. The smallest bust sells for 6,000 rubles ($194). A larger bust is 30,000 rubles ($967). A life-sized statue of Stalin smoking a pipe is on sale for an undisclosed sum.

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