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Russian embassy expresses indignation over CNN remark on monument to WWII soldiers

February 07, 2014, 0:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
CNN listes the ‘Courage’ among the “world’s ugliest monuments”
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

WASHINGTON, February 07, 0:13 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian embassy in the U.S. has expressed indignation over a review published by the CNN and listing the ‘Courage’ monument to the defenders of the Fortress of Brest in Belarus among the “world’s ugliest monuments”.

In a report that was obviously designed to be entertaining and addressed to “sculptors, stonemasons and cement stirrers of the world,” the author Iain Aitch provided a list of memorials that, according to his conclusions, offered illustrations of “how not to build a monument.”

Describing ‘Courage’, which he placed at the top of his list, Aitch wrote: “This giant, angry Soviet soldier emerging from a mountainous block of concrete looks as if he's about to thump the West into submission before hurling North America at the sun.”

He admitted however that the soldier was “a much-loved national monument which marks the defense of the Belarusian city of Brest and the Soviet victory in World War II.”

“This is a monument that symbolizes the courage of soldiers who were the first to resist the Nazis on the borders of our homeland, the memory about the millions of soldiers who fell in the battlefield to deliver the world from the brown plague,” the Russian embassy said in the statement. “This is a monument to the heroes whom we venerate.”

“Rankings of this kind are unacceptable from the angle of historic significance of monuments, as they insult the memory of those who died and defy human consciousness,” it said.

Earlier in the day, the CNN brought apologies for the inclusion of the monument in the list.

“We understand that the inclusion of the Brest Hero-Fortress in this article from a contributor has caused offense in Belarus and Russia,” an editor’s note published on the CNN website said. “This was unintended and we apologize.”

“The article was intended to be a light-hearted look at monumental architecture worldwide. CNN recognizes that the monument is of solemn significance to many people honoring the sacrifice of soldiers,” the note said.

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