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.