The administration of Sovetsk, a city in the Russian Kaliningrad region, has officially sent a request to the Vilnius leadership to hand over the Soviet-era sculptures removed from the Green Bridge.
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Sovetsk would cover "all costs of transporting the sculptures to Kaliningrad," the city's municipality said on its website in a letter signed by Mayor Nikolai Voishchev.

He emphasized that "the very name of Sovetsk implies that symbols of the Soviet era could find a place in our territory".

The Vilnius municipality confirmed having received the proposal, saying it would be discussed along with other proposals from residents of Vilnius and other cities this autumn.

Aleksandras Zubriakovas, spokesman for Vilnius City Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, noted that the sculptures were currently subject to legal protection, therefore could not be sold in an auction or transported anywhere.

After more than 60 years on the Green Bridge, the four sets of statues were removed last week following an expert conclusion that they were in critical disrepair and posed danger to pedestrians.

Intentions to take over the sculptures have also been stated by Grūto Park, an open-air museum of Soviet monuments near Druskininkai, the Europe Park located near Vilnius and a stone sculpture park.

The sculptures are currently stored at a municipal company.

The four groups of sculptures portraying soldiers, workers, farmers and students, were built on the Green Bridge in central Vilnius in 1952. They are listed on the register of protected objects.

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