An attempt to dismantle without permission a lost machine gunners' monument at the administrative and tourist center of the national park, 2009

Events, facts, documents and evidences: A funny thing has happened at the administrative and tourist center on the eve of celebration of the 600th anniversary since nature protection in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Shortly before the holiday a lost machine gunners' monument which has been there for 34 years has disappeared from its permanent place. It has been dismantled and transported to the utility service area while the site has accurately been paving. There was no monument over the celebration time. After the holidays the district authorities, the military commissariat and the district prosecutor office have become interested in the disappearance of the monument. As a result, it has quickly been got back and put to the site. According to the official version, the administration of the national park ordered to dismantle the monument for the period of repair works that then to get it back. According to the unofficial one, the Soviet soldiers' monument did not fit in the shape of the newly reconstructed area (even more as a restaurant is next within the walls of a former nature museum making the situation far from patriotic feelings). The monument has been removed in order do not mar the area's general view, in hope of no remembering this case as time goes by. Read more in detail about this incident in the publication "Disturbed memory" (in Russian).

The issue regarding the monument's possible changing place from the administrative and tourist center of the national park to the forest site, where a battle occurred during the last war and the Soviet frontier guards perished, has been raised as early as in the 90-s of the last century. After the collapse of the USSR the machine-gunner-monument being right at the entrance into the tourist center and facing the tourists, actually did not fit in connection with the new post soviet policy and in the purpose of development of the international ecological tourism. So, the idea has been offered to erect a bison sculpture on this place, close to the museum of nature. It would be more to the point, while the lost soldiers' monument to move to the historical site of the military events. It failed to realize this idea in that time and the question still remains to be topical and open. In any case to solve this problem, one has to follow the way of observance of the law, instead of voluntarism and arbitrariness.

The below photos show the lost soldiers' monument and the surrounding area.

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(The lost soldiers' monument at the administrative and tourist center; July 11, 2005)

The same site is shown here, but already no monument.

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(The site without monument; August 20, 2009)
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(The site without monument; September 20, 2009)

The below photos have caught a moment of rebuilding of the monument footing the base of the monument is concreted.

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(Rebuilding of the monument footing; November 14, 2009)

In a few days the monument was put on the place.

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(Rebuilding of the monument; November 16, 2009)

The lost soldiers' monument in the spring of 2010, but already without a machine gun and a memorable plate is as seen in the photos below.

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(The rebuilt monument; April 04, 2010)