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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kremlin Loses 2 Tons of Lenin

Every day, there is less of Lenin in the Kremlin.


On Wednesday authorities packed up the two-ton statue that stood in the Kremlin's main square for 18 years and shipped it out to the green expanse of Leninskiye Gorki, where the leader died in 1924.


The pensive leader is now seated in a parking lot, right next to "Lenin's Kremlin apartment," whose contents were removed from the Kremlin and relocated in the spring. Soon to join them, a Kremlin spokesman told The Associated Press, is the seven-ton monolith from the Kremlin Palace. That will take some time.


This latest wave of Leniniana has found a resting place 20 kilometers south of the Outer Ring Road, near the path where Lenin's burial procession ran and, even now, visitors don't walk. On the pastoral grounds, whose visitors are now "mostly foreigners," according to a staff member, some observers wondered at the growing concentration.


"We have the space, I guess," said Alexander Gusev, who once worked as a curator at the museum and had stopped by to see the new acquisition. "But how many monuments do we need?"


Clearly, Kremlin authorities have decided that they need fewer, as the last major Lenin memorabilia drifts in the direction of the suburbs. The bronze statue had been prominently displayed in the Kremlin's central Ivanovskaya Ploshchad since 1967, but has spent much of the last year in the relative seclusion of the Tainitsky Gardens, while museum curators and the State Auto Inspectorate arranged its laborious move.


The project involved, among other things, dislodging the statue from its marble base with explosives. Early this morning -- foiling photojournalists all over town -- the statue was packed and shipped to Leninskiye Gorki. Although the estate already possessed many Lenin relics, the statue is far and away its most prestigious acquisition, said Tamara Shabina, an assistant at the museum. She said the museum had not received word on the Kremlin Palace Lenin.


Except for television crews, the woods at Leninskiye Gorki were nearly deserted Wednesday, and workers said that during the week the park rarely gets more than two or three visitors. But one retired couple, who were strolling in matched track suits, said they regularly visited out of unalloyed nostalgia.


"You could say that three-quarters of us are still nostalgic for that time. There was a lot that was good about it," said Igor, 53, who had driven down from Moscow with his wife. "These days, no one believes in the tsar, or God, or anything else."