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The plight of statues in Eastern Europe

When it comes to Soviet-era sculptures in Eastern Europe, the only collective noun that suits is "an embarrassment of statues". After the fall of the Iron Curtain, what could be done with all these furrowed brows, towering Stalins and farm maidens toiling in the field?

In some cases, where Soviet sympathies simmered beneath the surface (or indeed where statues formed a structural part of a building), the mighty sculptures stayed put. Elsewhere, statues were hauled out of cities into "statue graveyards"; no longer colouring the city's character with their raised scythes and righteously pointing weapons, they became a snapshot of the era, to be considered from a safe distance.

These outdoor museums can be fascinating places. Budapest's Memento Park presents its Soviet-era statues with one eyebrow firmly raised. You can buy a scented candle in the shape of Lenin's head in their gift shop; perhaps you'll take it home to add some fragrance to a relaxing…

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