A statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been taken down from the central square of his home town, Gori, in Georgia. The operation was completed between midnight and dawn.
The 6 meter high sculpture will move to the courtyard of a museum dedicated to Georgia’s most famous native.
A local official said it will be replaced by a monument to victims of Georgia’s war with Russia two years ago.
The statue was thought to be one of the last remaining large scale likenesses of Stalin still standing in its original position in the former Soviet Union. There are several smaller busts still on display.
But for many, it was a sign of Moscow’s lingering influence, two decades after Georgia gained independence from Russia.
Gori was the hardest hit city in Georgia in the five day conflict with Russia. It was occupied by Russian troops for weeks afterwards.