In Ulan-Bator, the 840th birthday of the “creator” of the Mongolian state, Genghis Khan, is being celebrated. Ceremonial actions devoted to this date were opened by laying the foundation of the Genghis Khan memorial, which will be built in Central Park of Culture and Holiday in Ulan-Bator. The memorial will consists of seven buildings of the great conqueror, situated in a circle. The constructions will be built on stone foundations shaped as turtles. In the centre of the complex, there will be a 20-m sculpture of Genghis Khan, while the figures of his commanders will be situated on the perimeter. The diameter of the complex will be 99 m. According preliminary information, to build this memorial, approximately 19 million dollars will be needed, RIA ‘Novosti’ reports.
We carried out a small poll among Moscow citizens, asking them how they consider perpetuating the memory of Genghis Khan, whose name is traditionally associated in Russia with the Mongolian-Tatar yoke and regarded as an expression of dark, wild, and cruel power. Irina Zolotova, secretary, 24 years old: “How could I consider this? If the Mongolians regard Genghis Khan as creator of their state, that is their right. We built monuments of revolutionary leaders; however, for example, Estonians consider Stalin to be a conqueror.”
Alexandr Kostygov, manager, 35 years old: “Genghis Khan is a long-forgotten offence of Russia. It is not pleasant to admit that once, half-wild nomads armed with primitive weapon conquered our country and ruled it for 300 years. Why should we remember this? People need heroes. Let Mongolians have Genghis Khan as a hero.”
Yelena Filippova, shop assistant, 48 years old: “Genghis Khan? Is he a statesman? He is a nomad, who rode over the steppe and sacked and killed people. They should not build a monument of him.”
Sergei, policeman, 28 years old: “Genghis Khan? Who is that? A Chechen militant?”
Alexandr Kuznetsov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/03/40615.html