Monument to Soviet Liberator returns to Treptow park

The world famous monument to the Soviet liberators of WWII will begin to be re-assembled in the Treptow Park of Berlin. The monument is a figure of a Soviet soldier with a German girl in his arms. RIA Novosti learnt this from Petra Reetz, spokeswoman for the Berlin Senate administration for city development.

The monument was thoroughly restored by a specialised German company on the Rugen island (Meklenburg-Western Pomerania).

The 40-ton figure of the Soviet soldier was removed from the pedestal for thorough renovation on October 1, 2003. Then it was disassembled into seven parts and sent for restoration to the Rugen island in northern Germany.

The figure was covered with a special protective layer. Besides, a special metal corset was placed inside the figure and tightly connected to the external parts with screws. This construction increases the monument's stability.

Last Saturday, the 12-metre statue of the Soviet soldier was brought into the German capital onboard a specially equipped cargo vessel through the canals.

This renovation effort cost the German side 1.5 million euros.

Now in view of Victory Day (May 8 in former anti-Hitler coalition countries and May 9 in Russia), the world famous monument of a Soviet soldier holding a sword destroying the Nazi swastika in one hand and a saved German girl in the other, returns to its place in the Treptow Park of Berlin where about 5,000 Soviet soldiers are buried.

Considering the height of the hill and the pedestal, the monument's height equals about 30 metres.

The Soviet military memorial in the Treptow Park is a grandiose monument to about 21,000 Soviet soldiers who died in the battle for the German capital. We honour their memory and still see the memorial as Soviet, because it was the USSR which liberated Berlin. We are doing everything it takes to take care of all the three major Soviet memorials in our city - in the Treptow Park, Tirgarten, Schonholzer Heide, said Hans Stilmmann, the head of the construction department of the Berlin government.

According to the state agreements between the USSR and the Fedreal Republic of Germany of 1990, the German side assumed the responsibility of looking after the monuments and burials of the Soviet soldiers in Germany.

In this case, funds are allocated by the German government and the Berlin Senate is responsible for the organisation.

On the whole, since 1999 about 6.5 million euros have been allocated for the restoration and maintenance of Soviet military memorials in Berlin. This work will be continued, with about 1 million euros allocated annually for the effort, said the spokeswoman for the Berlin senate.

The Soviet memorial in the Treptow Park was created for about three years and was officially opened on May 8, 1949.

The figure of the Soviet liberator was made in Leningrad and brought to Berlin on a ship. The senior architect was Yakov Belopolsky and sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich.

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