reede, märts 16, 2007

Controversy

Dear readers,

I am working on a project assembling a list of other monuments in Estonia that could be construed as controversial but, for whatever reason, are not as controversial as Härra Pronks.

I was considering that the monument to Barclay de Tolly in Tartu might be one of these, him being a Baltic German warmaker in the service of Imperial Russia, but I wasn't sure if that was controversial enough.

So what do you think? Do you know of any memorials or monuments in your hometown in Estonia that could be "the next Pronkssõdur?"

17 kommentaari:

Flasher T ütles ...

I think it would be very relevant to compare the Pronksmees and the ruins of the cinema near Harju hill, bombed by the Soviets.

:P ütles ...

haay! don't you go badmouthing de Tolly! he is considered practically an Estonian hero :P the one that made the plan of how to beat Napoleon in 1812, only halfway through the Winter Campaign he was so hugely unpopular that he was sacked and his successor got all the glory just for carrying the plan out.

but, anyway...

dresolve ütles ...

Is the statue of Lenin still on the grounds of Narva castle? I was surprised to see him still standing when I visited a few years ago.

Giustino ütles ...

Well, Lenin did accept Baltic independence. Maybe they should built a statue of Adolph Joffe next to him :)

space_maze ütles ...

Not a momument, but .. Nevski cathedral in Tallinn. In my experience, Estonians really don't like it too much. Which I kind of get, with it being built on the legendary site of Kalevipoeg's grave, and with it being definitely built as a symbol of power .. but on the other hand, don't really get - history is offensive now? Yay :-D

Sten ütles ...

I'd agree the russian cathedral annoys me too

Sten ütles ...

but demolishing it wouldn't be possible obviously, sadly

space_maze ütles ...

I really don't see the point. Nor do I see it as nearly as imposing as Estonians seem to see it - from any notable point of view, Oleviste and Niguliste are way more imposing, for me. I do think it's mostly psychological how imposing it seems to Estonians.

And I don't really like the manner of dealing with history of getting rid of everything that might annoy. Here in Vienna, we have six humongous Nazi flak towers as remnants of World War II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower

Some pictures of them here.

They tried to tear them down right after world war II, but they were too sturdy to bring them down with the means avaliable at the time.

Today, it would be possible to bring them down. They're big, they're ugly, they're imposing, they're unneccesary, and they're right in the middle of town.

But they also keep history alive. They make sure that people get that history - including the less lovely bits - isn't something that just happened in books.

Sten ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
AR ütles ...

What adds to the controversy of Nevski Cathedral - it was built during the era of russification at the ende of 19-th century.

During the first independence era there were some serious plans to tear it down but they were forgotten.

Personally I nor most of my fellow Estonians are not disturbed by the chruch, especially after hearing some wow!-s from the visiting foreigner.

What actually could be the issue are some WWII "russian" monuments, say the tank in Narva. But again, its risk is neutralized by being located in a mostly russian area.

So overall, surprisingly, there are very few candidates for the next pronkssõdur. The Pronkssõdur is the only incarnation of the Phenomenon of Pronkssõdur.

It may happen that some other monument will acquire the not-so-loved status. One suspect in Tallinn is the double-fallos of the freedom-clocks on Vabaduse Square. Estonians don't adore it, the Nochnoi Dozor has gradually tried to turn it into its own freedom statue and people consider it to be the statue of self-admiration of the Centrist city government. Nor is it esthetically very pleasing.

Giustino ütles ...

I think building is important. I'd like to see more Pitka-esque memorials and things of that nature. I think tearing down is a waste of time. Even Pronkssõdur. There's a lot of grass there. Build something else.

I was in Tallinn yesterday for the first time in awhile. It felt so weird. It's a beautiful town, but all these big issues seem so far away here in Tartu. All of this Amnesty International/language inspectorate mumbo jumbo - these issues seem so detached from regular Estonian life outside of Tallinn.

rakamon ütles ...

I recently took a photo of a momonument, which is not so controversial in this context, but is very strange indeed. It is for the people of the penninsula Sõrve, who fell victims of the fascism.
http://rakamon.blogspot.com/2007/03/vahtide-askeldusi-ii.html

Kristopher ütles ...

The Bronze Soldier is a dead ringer for my grandfather, who is a Ukrainian-Estonian, and would have definitely fought for the Germans had he not ended up in Prague in May 1945. Alyoshka also looks a little like Kristjan Palusalu, one of Estonia's many two-time gold medalists, who picked Berlin as the place to win his. So I'd like to see the Soldier stay on -- as long as no one accuses him of being a Nazi.

Nevsky Cathedral should be relocated next to a RIMI in Narva unless there is a better high-rise there to place it next to.

I would also tear down the obelisk on the road to Pirita. There is also a heap of stone on the other side of the road from the obelisk, which looks like an unfinished parking garage. I would pull that down, too.

kari ütles ...

i don't think there are many other monuments as disturbing, maybe the obelisk at pirita and a few others. instead of zealously searching for other monuments how about building our own. there still is no monument for those who fought in vabadussõda. all we have got is a stone stating that a monument will be built here some day and basically that's it.

martintg ütles ...

The Estonian MoD announced a design competition for a new vabadussõda monument here:
http://www.mod.gov.ee/?op=news&id=1089

plasma-jack ütles ...

there is a monument in Kunda dedicated to fallen soldiers who fell fighting against the bourgeoisie and intervents in 1918-1919 (:

Anonüümne ütles ...

..and also in Rakvere.