PRAGUE, October 7. TASS/. Petr Simunek, the first deputy chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), said he would submit a request on Monday with the Czech Culture Ministry asking to include the monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague in the list of cultural facilities protected by the government.
"I will submit on Monday with the Culture Ministry a request to include the monument in the list of the monuments of culture [of the Czech Republic]," Simunek told journalists. "The inclusion in this list will obstruct the relocation of the monument."
The deputy chairman of the Czech communist party said he hoped that Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek would make a positive decision regarding this request.
"Zaoralek is a very experienced politician," Simunek said. "He comes from the city of Ostrava. He comes from the region, which was liberated by the Red Army. He has a positive view of such monuments."
The council of the Prague-6 municipal district voted in mid-September to relocate the monument to Konev and to build a Prague Liberation Memorial instead. The municipality is still deciding on a site, where the monument to Marshal Konev may be relocated.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed last month indignation over the decision to relocate the monument and warned that such a step would not remain without retaliation.
The monument was unveiled in Prague in 1980 on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the city’s liberation by the Red Army’s forces under Marshal Konev’s command. The monument is a property of the municipal authorities.
The district’s head Ondrej Kolar said in late August that Konev’s monument falls victim to vandals at least two times a year, which, according to him, points to the local residents’ negative view of the Soviet military commander.