Authorities mull transferring Soviet-era Green Bridge sculptures to museum

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sculptures being removed from Vilnius' Green Bridge

The authorities are considering transferring Soviet-era sculptures removed from Vilnius' Green Bridge to the Lithuanian Art Museum, which could in turn give them for display to Grutas, a Soviet-era theme park in the southern part of the country, Culture Minister Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson said on Friday.

According to Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, the local authority will also consider as an option announcing an open competition for displaying the controversial statues, which are currently on an immovable cultural heritage list.

"Our proposal is to transfer these sculptures to the Lithuanian Art Museum, which researches and collects art treasures, including those from the Soviet era. The city would thus transfer the sculptures to the Art Museum for storage and we would remove them from the immovable cultural heritage list," the minister told reporters after meeting with the mayor.

"The statue would become part of the museum's collection. Under the Law on Museums, they would be granted legal protection and properly stored as pieces of art," she said.

Šimašius backed the plan, noting that the authorities did no intend to either destroy the four sets of sculptures or put them back on the bridge over the River Neris in central Vilnius.

According to the mayor, the local authority of Vilnius is likely to decide in the spring which option is more acceptable to the city,

With the Cultural Heritage Department's permission, the local authority in July 2015 removed the badly eroded sculptures, depicting Soviet soldiers, workers, farmers and students, for repairs and had no plans to put them back on the bridge.

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