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Svätopluk statue faces protests

A RECENTLY unveiled statue of “king” Svätopluk, who ruled much of what is now Slovakia in the 9th century, should be removed from the courtyard of Bratislava Castle, the UM! civic association said on July 20, as reported by the TASR newswire. UM! has launched a campaign to bring about the removal.

A RECENTLY unveiled statue of “king” Svätopluk, who ruled much of what is now Slovakia in the 9th century, should be removed from the courtyard of Bratislava Castle, the UM! civic association said on July 20, as reported by the TASR newswire. UM! has launched a campaign to bring about the removal.

The sculpture, which shows Svätopluk on horseback in full battle armour, was unveiled by the leaders of the previous governing coalition shortly before the election in June that saw them lose power. UM! activists found their way into the closed castle grounds at night and wrapped the sculpture in a banner carting the slogans ‘Statue of Lies’ and ‘Don't Modify History’.

According to the association, it took the action on historical and aesthetic grounds. The activists claim that the double-barred cross depicted on Svätopluk’s shield resembles the symbol of the wartime fascist paramilitary organisation, and therefore violates the criminal law concerning support and promotion of groups suppressing basic rights and freedoms, SITA wrote.

Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík has initiated the creation of a commission of experts on history and fine arts to advise him on the appropriateness of the Castle Hill statue. He would only consider removing the statue if he is advised to do so by the commission.


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