16:36 20.05.2024

No need to dismantle Peoples' Friendship Arch in Kyiv if city, community completely rethink its meaning – Drobovych

3 min read
No need to dismantle Peoples' Friendship Arch in Kyiv if city, community completely rethink its meaning – Drobovych

Head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINP) Anton Drobovych believes there is no need to dismantle the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People, formerly the Arch of Friendship of Peoples, if the city and community decide to truly rethink its meaning.

"I see three scenarios for the development of events around this object. The first scenario is complete dismantling. The second option is to leave everything as it is, and then there will be forced dismantling, because sooner or later the citizens themselves will do it, as they did with [the Monument to] Lenin. The third option is to leave the arch in place and make, as in 2017, a rainbow from it as a symbol of LGBT or simply a symbol of a rainbow over the water," he said in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency.

Drobovych also noted that the rainbow option is the only one that means complete rethinking of this object, and also attaching a new context to it and starting a new discussion on the issue.

"Because the crack on it made by Volodymyr Kuznetsov and the group is a good and strong statement, but it did not become viral. It did not change the public space so that it was read, no one in a personal conversation calls it the Arch of the Crack of Nations. And the rainbow works! This immediately became clear when the Right Sector spoke, which means that it is no longer read as a Soviet symbol," he said.

At the same time, the UINP head emphasized that this is not the only option, "perhaps we can make some kind of water slide there, which will change the functionality, maybe something else."

In response to a clarifying question about the advisability of dismantling the arch, he said that he does not think that it is necessary to dismantle it if the city and the community truly rethink it.

As reported, in 2017, CFC Consulting, which won the tender for communication during Eurovision, decided to decorate the arch with the colors of the rainbow, since the song contest was hosted by Kyiv under the Celebrate Diversity slogan. In April 2024, the head of the UINP said he considered the idea of redefining the arch into a rainbow a good one.

On May 16, 2022, Kyiv City Council decided to decommunize the Arch of Friendship of Peoples and renamed it the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People.

At the end of March 2024, the UINP expert commission to determine whether objects belong to the symbols of Russian imperial policy stated that the arch belongs to the symbols of Russian imperial policy and is subject to complete dismantling.

In April 2024, the Culture Ministry of Ukraine recognized the monument as not subject to inclusion in the State Register of Immovable Monuments of Ukraine and stated that the arch could now be dismantled.

At the same time, Kyiv City State Administration said that the arch would not be dismantled or moved.

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