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Moscow election commission backs referendum on restoring 'Iron Felix' statue

June 25, 2015, 16:02 UTC+3
The monument to Dzerzhinsky - founder of the state security service Cheka, predecessor of the KGB - was toppled during Moscow events as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991
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© Fotokhronika TASS/A. Sergeyev-Vasiliev

MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. Election commission officials on Thursday approved a Communist Party proposal for a referendum on restoring the famous statue of Bolshevik revolutionary "Iron" Felix Dzerzhinsky to its former site in central Moscow.

The monument to Dzerzhinsky - founder of the state security service Cheka, predecessor of the KGB - was toppled during Moscow events as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and taken to a city sculpture park from its location outside KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square.

Backed by Moscow lawmakers and the election commission, the party has been given 30 days to collect 146,315 signatures - 2% of the Moscow electorate - in favour of the referendum idea, said commission deputy head Alexey Shlenov.

"Let Muscovites decide," said Valentin Gorbunov, leading the election commission, as the Communist Party's Valery Rashkin told TASS they expected the initiative, launched in February, to win many supporters, security service officers among them.

The statue - to be found now at Muzeon sculpture park - was created by sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich and was unveiled in 1958 in front of the KGB headquarters on what was then called Dzerzhinsky Square.

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