Green figures of Vilnius and communist Vytautas of Kaunas 0

Austėja Masiokaitė, 2014-09-10
Attributes of communist Vytautas. Photo by A.Masiokaitė

In brief: Something is built or reconstructed in cities all the time – some objects remain for long while others disappear quickly; people love gathering in some places while others remain forlorn even though they are tidy.

The most famous example of a resented object in Vilnius is the Green Bridge with four soviet rusty sculptures on it. The green figures were simply unpleasant for a long time and lately became the antihero of the capital which is fought against by cages and flags, petitions or opposing words.

Kaunas does not have its green figures; however, something more equivocal and even grotesque may be found here – the communist Vytautas (Vytautas Magnus Bridge with communistic metal decorations). The indifference of the city inhabitants about the fact is really surprising.

The Lithuanian hero and the soviet symbols were related due to the same power which keeps the rusty green figures in Vilnius locked to the pedestal base – the wish to preserve. The attempts to preserve the inter-war name of the bridge in Kaunas and its soviet decorations ended up in the present combination: Aleksotas Bridge with hammers and reaping hooks gained the name of Vytautas Magnus.

The trouble is that even the biggest name cannot neutralise the heavy historical load that is carried by the communistic symbols. While the communistic symbols are still on the bridge, we should lift our heads and look at them well. If they appear unpleasant to our hearts, we should stand for their removal.

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