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Giant Lenin Head in Berlin Unearthed, Will Be Put on Display in Museum

Image: Giant Lenin Head in Berlin Unearthed, Will Be Put on Display in Museum
A granite sculpture of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin's head is excavated southeast of Berlin, Germany, September 10, 2015. (Martin Schlicht/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 10 Sep 2015 01:31 PM

A giant granite sculpture of Vladimir Lenin's head has been unearthed by workers at a forest at the edge of Berlin and will now be taken to a museum for exhibition, officials said this week.

The 3.5-ton sculpture of the late Russian revolutionary leader was part of a statue created by Nikolai Tomsky, who served as the president of the Soviet Academy of Arts and inaugurated in 1970 just before the Communist leader's 100th birthday, according to The Local.

The entire statue was 62 feet high and towered over East Berlin during the remaining years of the city's Communist rule, the BBC News reported.

After the Berlin Wall fell and reunited the city again, the first mayor of a joint Berlin, Eberhard Diepgen, ordered the statue's removal in 1991, saying that he wanted to get rid of the tribute to a "dictatorship where people were persecuted and murdered."

According to The Local, the statue was broken into 120 pieces, trucked to a secluded area of the forest at the southeast corner of the city, and buried.

The granite head, the only portion of the statue that was dug up, was transported to Berlin's Spandau Citadelle museum this week so it can be included in an exhibition on German monuments.

"The Lenin statue always had a special meaning for eastern German politicians and supporters of the Soviet regime — which made it a particular target for the country's new, unified government," The Washington Post's Nick Noack wrote.

"So it came as little surprise when Berlin's mayor, Eberhard Diepgen, ordered the statue to be removed after reunification. The scene was prominently featured in the German movie 'Goodbye Lenin,'" he continued.

City historians, though, started calling for the head's excavation and German-based American filmmaker Rick Minnich ultimately helped researchers find the granite piece. Minnich told local journalists that he had partially uncovered the sculpture in 1990 while filming a "mockumentary," The Local noted.

The "Unveiled: Berlin and its Monuments" exhibition will open in early 2016.

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A giant granite sculpture of Vladimir Lenin's head has been unearthed by workers at a forest at the edge of Berlin and will now be taken to a museum for exhibition, officials said this week.
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2015-31-10
Thursday, 10 Sep 2015 01:31 PM
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