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Russian minister asks UNESCO to ban removal of monuments to WWII heroes

November 03, 1:47 UTC+3 PARIS

"I’m convinced that UNESCO can’t watch placidly the showings of neo-Nazism," the minister said

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PARIS, November 3. /TASS/. Russian Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva on Thursday asked UNESCO to ban at the legislative level the pulling down of monuments to heroes of World War II.

"I’m convinced that UNESCO can’t watch placidly the showings of neo-Nazism, the situations where the authorities that connive at the swelling nationalism also permit the pulling down of monuments to those who liberated this continent [from Nazism]," she said, adding that victory in World War II laid down the foundation of the UN.

"We believe time has come for UNESCO to pay urgent attention to the problem and to provide a legal framework for cutting such actions short," Vasilyeva said at the 39th session of the UNESCO’s General Conference.

Humankind has paid a dire price more than once for drowning lessons of the past in oblivion and handling historic truth frivolously.

"If we don’t want to allow the alienation of countries and nations and the emergence of new division lines, we have a duty then to defend truth, to defend the exploits, dignity and repute of those who survived and those who died," Vasilyeva said. "Otherwise the aspirations of UNESCO’s founders as regards a fair and secure world will remain nothing but sheer hopes."

She also stressed protection of world cultural heritage as a task of paramount importance for UNESCO.

"The UN Security Council adopted a historic Resolution 2347 in this connection," Vasilyeva said. "Russia is an active player in the implementation of tasks the documents specifies. We plan to build up collaboration with UNESCO in this sphere, including the format of the recently signed memorandum of mutual understanding on protection and restoration of cultural values in zones of conflicts, especially the ones in the Middle East.".

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