THE STATUE of a well-known Hungarian revolutionary of the 19th century, Lajos Kossuth, was raised in the southeastern town of Rožňava after being hidden from the public for 60 years.
Hungarian Coalition Party leader Béla Bugár said at the ceremony that the decision to place the statue in front of the local mining museum was a sign of "a great tolerance on the part of Rožňava inhabitants".
The Slovak daily SME wrote that Kossuth contributed to the elimination of bondage in the Austrian-Hungarian empire.
Historian Milan Zemko said, however, that Kossuth never had a good view of Slovaks and never recognised them as a nation.
For this reason Stanislav Bajaník, spokesman for Matica Slovenská, the state-subsidised organisation for the preservation of Slovak cultural heritage, called the decision by Rožňava MPs a "provocative act" aimed at stirring nationalist feelings.
27 percent of Rožňava inhabitants are ethnic Hungarians.
The other inhabitants have not shown any signs of protest and the ceremony took place in a peaceful atmosphere.
Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Feb 2004 at 10:08