A court has given the go-ahead for the installation of a statue of Vladimir Lenin in a city in western Germany, following a row over whether the monument to the Soviet leader should be allowed.
The City of Gelsenkirchen’s administration had tried to stop the construction, put forward by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLDP), citing the possibility the statue would affect the appearance of a neighbouring property, a three-story former savings bank.
The administrative court of Gelsenkirchen dismissed this claim, saying the statue’s moderate size and distance from the property meant it would not affect the view of the building.
The court found that the historical and political aspects of Lenin, also cited by the city, were irrelevant under monument protection law.
Statues of Lenin were common in the old East Germany when it was under Soviet rule, but would not be expected to be seen in the west. Lenin is seen by many socialists and communists as a hero, whereas those on the other side of the political spectrum would point to the repressive nature of the Soviet regime under the rule of him and his successors.
The MLPD celebrated the decision, saying in a press release: “A few weeks before his 150th birthday, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin has once again won a great victory.”
The statue may be erected from March 14, the court said, adding an appeal can be lodged with the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.