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Russian communists collect signatures for 'Iron Felix' statue referendum

July 20, 2015, 19:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Over 150,000 signatures have been collected, Valery Rashkin, a party member told TASS
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A statue of Bolshevik and Soviet statesman, Felix Dzerzhinsky in Muzeon Park in Moscow, with the President Hotel behind

A statue of Bolshevik and Soviet statesman, Felix Dzerzhinsky in Muzeon Park in Moscow, with the President Hotel behind

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Activists of the Communist Party of Russia have collected signatures seeking to hold a referendum on restoring the famous statue of Bolshevik revolutionary 'Iron' Felix Dzerzhinsky to its former site in central Moscow, a party member told TASS on Monday.

"Over 150,000 signatures have been collected," Valery Rashkin said. "We are now checking them for validity."

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 was given 30 days to collect 146,315 signatures — 2% of the Moscow electorate — in favor of the referendum idea.

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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