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Svätopluk to stay put

THE EQUESTRIAN statue of Svätopluk will remain in the front courtyard of Bratislava Castle, announced Richard Sulík, Slovakia’s speaker of parliament, on September 22.

THE EQUESTRIAN statue of Svätopluk will remain in the front courtyard of Bratislava Castle, announced Richard Sulík, Slovakia’s speaker of parliament, on September 22.

Sulík said, however, that sculptor Ján Kulich must replace the much criticised double cross on Svätopluk’s shield because it resembles one used by Slovakia’s wartime, Nazi-allied regime. It should be replaced with the image of the double cross currently depicted on Slovakia's coat of arms at the sculptor’s own expense, Sulík added. The text under the statue must also be changed so that only Svätopluk’s name remains along with the years that he ruled in Great Moravia, the TASR newswire reported. Currently the legend calls Svätopluk the “King of the Old Slovaks”.

An expert commission appointed by the speaker of parliament to evaluate the appropriateness of the statue’s presence at the castle recommended an alternative location for it but that idea was rejected because it was determined that the proposed site is too close to reconstruction work going on at the castle. That was one of the reasons Sulík offered for not moving the statue to a less prominent setting at the castle, suggesting that his successor can solve this problem later, presumably after the renovation work is completed.


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