TBILISI, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - A dismantled monument to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin will be reassembled and put back in place in his hometown of Gori, the regional administration said on Friday.
Funds for the project have been earmarked in Gori’s 2013 budget as a separate line item, the administration said on its website.
The monument was dismantled in 2010. Georgian authorities said at the time it would be relocated to the Stalin museum and replaced with a memorial to victims of the Georgian-Russian war of August 2008 and Stalin-era reprisals. However, the monument was later found lying on the ground outside a decrepit building several miles from Gori.
In October, local residents gathered 5,000 signatures under a petition to return the monument to its original site in the city’s central square.
Born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in 1878, Stalin lived for the first four years of his life in a modest wooden house in Gori, a small city some 40 miles from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. His former home now stands in front of the two-story State Stalin Museum, opened by the dictator’s security chief and fellow Georgian, Lavrenty Beria, in 1937, at the height of the Great Terror, in which millions died.