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Russia says rock festival in Berlin’s Treptower Park could turn into ‘dances on bones’

April 21, 17:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The remains of more than 7,000 Soviet soldiers are buried in the Treptower Park where Radiohead is expected as headliner
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© Tsentralbild/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Berlin’s authorities to revise the decision on holding a rock festival this September in the Treptower Park where the remains of more than 7,000 Soviet soldiers are buried, Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"This step is absolutely unacceptable for us," she said. "Holding such events at memorial places is unacceptable and could largely turn into ‘dances on bones’ in the truest sense of the word," the diplomat said, adding that the Treptower Park is one of the most symbolic Soviet memorials.

Russia is seriously concerned over the plans of Berlin’s authorities to issue the permission for holding the youth rock festival at the memorial place, she said. "The event to be attended by around 50,000 people will be held at the burial place for 7,500 Soviet soldiers who were killed when liberating Europe from fascism."

The Russian side has been forced to discuss this issue in public as it has failed to reach out to local authorities via diplomatic channels, she stressed.

Former USSR ambassadors in Berlin protest against rock festival at memorial site

The authorities of Berlin have received a letter from ambassadors of former Soviet republics, protesting against plans to hold a rock festival in Treptower Park.

"The letter was addressed to the head of Treptow-Kopenick district, Oliver Igel, representatives of this district are looking into it and into the situation," the source said, noting that the final decision has not been made as of yet.

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Mueller and Senator of the Interior in Berlin Frank Henkel were also among the addressees, copies sent to them, he added. The former ambassadors of Ukraine, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia did not sign the letter.

Lollapalooza festival is planned for September 10-11, English rock band Radiohead is among its key performers.

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