Velvet Revolution Square has become a permanent fixture in the city of Bratislava as of Friday, November 15. Part of SNP Square, which hosted mass rallies against the communist regime in late 1989 and early 1990, has been renamed to mark the 30th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the communist regime in the then Czechoslovakia. The new name was ceremonially declared on Saturday, November 16, at 17:30.
Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo came up with the initiative to rename part of SNP Square. He argued that the Velvet Revolution, like the Slovak National Uprising (SNP), symbolises public opposition to totalitarianism and expression of the citizens’ will for freedom.
“Therefore, we think the two squares named after these historical events should have a dignified place next to each other,” explained Vallo, as cited by the TASR newswire.
Moreover, this way of marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution will be permanent as the fall of the totalitarian regime is one of the most important events in the modern history of Slovakia and, as such, is worthy of respect and remembrance.
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Vallo considers naming the space in front of the Old Market Hall Velvet Revolution Square is the best compromise among many proposals. The city is not building a new square and renaming the whole of SNP Square was out of question for several reasons.
“The space in front of the Old Market Hall is currently part of SNP Square, but historically it has always been an independent square with its own name,” reasoned the city, saying the change of address will affect only a small number of people.
Local deputies of the Old Town green-lighted the change in late September and then the deputies of the city council followed suit in late October.
However, the change has raised criticism from the Slovak Union of Anti-fascist Fighters who perceive it as purposeless, while others believe that the space in front of the market hall is not dignified enough.
16. Nov 2019 at 15:48 | Compiled by Spectator staff