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    Lenin museum in Ulan Bator


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    Yes, have been both to the former museum and stayed in the UB hotel on my first trip. And the statues were there then and were there in March. Unlike the Soviet Union, there has not been a full-scale crusade to destroy and erase history as has been the case in the former USSR. Statues have not been ripped down or relegated to an isolated corner in a sculpture park (sculpture zoo?) as has been done in Moscow. To find a statue of Stalin in UB is a bit of a challenge though, but there were always more of Lenin than of Stalin (the largest one is in what used to be a restaurant but has recently been transformed into a strip club, so the manager is -- understandably?? -- unhappy about foreign visitors with cameras). As has been discussed elsewhere, the sole act of post-socialist architectural cleansing was the removal of the Suhkbaatar-Choibalsan Masoleum from Sukhbaatar Square in central Ulanbaatar and its replacement with a Jabba-the-Hutt-like statue of Chengiz Khan; this has been so controversial that even if thought was being given to further "removals", I suspect it is now stopped. While graffiti has come out of the now-globalised cultural woodwork, it is more of the "Bat loves Delgema" type than anything political. More importantly, Mongolia is not the former USSA: It is secure in its recent (and distant) history, reslizes that parts were good and parts were bad (like any other history), and recognises its heroes. While history is bering continually re-remembered (as is true everywhere, all the time), new statues are going up not to the leader of the day but to old leaders. When I was there in March a new statue to Tsedenbal has just been erected; can you imagine Tsar Putin's Russia putting up new statues to Brezhnev? On many levels, the Mongolian embrace of their recent historical past seems so much healthier than the Soviet response, or even the more complex but intermediate Chinese path.

    The one additional Lenin sculpture picture I can find is that of the young Lenin, outside what used to be the Baatarchuud headquarters (for whom Lenin was the same sort of icon as he was for the "Grandchildren of October").

    Shown below. Will look for others.

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