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Turku takes down Lenin statue

City authorities say the decision is due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The V. I. Lenin bust located in the centre of Turku has been the subject of debate for many years. Image: Ari Welling / Yle

Authorities in the southwest city of Turku have said they will remove a statue of Russian revolutionary and politician Vladimir Lenin due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The V. I. Lenin bust is located at the upper end of Aurakatu in the Puolalanmäki district of Turku, but the City said that the statue and a plaque next to it will be removed as soon as possible.

V.I. Lenin visited this house while fleeing tsarist Russia in 1907, the memorial plaque reads. Image: Ari Welling / Yle

Turku Mayor Minna Arve (NCP) made the decision earlier this week following repeated public and media discussions about the statue in light of Russia's war in Ukraine.

Even prior to the invasion of Ukraine, the Lenin bust "became a symbol of political division in Turku", the city noted on its website.

"Consequently, the sculpture has been defaced several times over the years," the city said.

The statue has been standing in front of Turku Art Museum. Image: Ari Welling / Yle

The statue was made by a Russian sculptor, Mihail Anicushin, and has been on display in the centre of Turku since 1977, after being presented as a gift to the city by its twin Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

The statue belongs to the art collection of the City of Turku and after its removal it will be kept in the storage facilities of the city's museum services unit.