The former Pantheon in memory of Josef Stalin is intended to be rebuilt in the district of Turukhansk, Krasnoyarsk region

The former Pantheon in memory of Josef Stalin is intended to be rebuilt in the district of Turukhansk, Krasnoyarsk region

And yet the idea is being discussed on an utterly high level – this is, at last, what the counselor of the governor of the Krasnoyarsk region informed to “Echo Moscow”. The aim of the planned rebuilding of the pantheon is to attract tourists – there are no political motives at all. According to his words the planned reconstruction of the memorial is “exclusively based on an initiative that came from a couple of businessmen, who have been working for the tourist branch since long”. He furthermore asserted that idea has no poitical background at all.

The leader of the “Working Russia”movement, Viktor Anpilov, explained that the reconstruction of the pantheon “speaks for the acknowledgement of Stalin’s role in history”. He entertains serious doubts, however, that this kind of an object of interest will really be successful from the commercial point of view. “A foreign tourist will not be tempted to come to Siberia by this and, least of all, by a place, where Stalin spent his internal exile”, he remarked.

According to Pashchenko’s opinion, the pantheon might become a very prominent attraction, just like the place, where the Tungussk meteorite stroke the ground.

By the way, even the touristic sense of a reconstruction of the pantheon fills the leader of the Democratic Union, Valeriy Novodvorskiy, with indignation. During an interview with “Echo Moscow” he said that the impossible of rebuilding a pantheon to the honour of a tyrant is, of course, only possible in Russia.

He continued that the intention of a few businessmen to build Stalin’s pantheon means exactly the same to him “as if a couple of businessmen in Germany would rebuild the Reichstag – just to have a new touistattraction. The whole world would quiver with disgust and fright”. According to Novodvorskiy’s opinion, one must not expect anything better of a country, where Lenin is lying on its main square.

Victor Anpilov, leader of the “Working Russia” movement, on his part, considers the news about intentions to reconstruct the pantheon a sign of the unconditional acknowledgment of Stalin’s role in history. To him ”it is of no importance at all, who is building the pantheon and what is the intent or aim behind such an idea”, he told “Echo Moscow”.

May we remind the reader that the authorities in Krasnoyarsk merely aim at a commercial goal – the attraction of tourists. However, it will be very difficult to achieve this purpose, - said Irina Tyurina, press secretary of the Russian Tourist Union. “This pantheon will never be able to attract a great number of tourists, unless the improve the entire infracture, as well”. According to her words, one can only get to the place of the pantheon to-be by water, on the river Yenisey. But motorships, equipped with what tourists would call appropriate modern conveniences, do not navigate on the river. !A lot more has to be done, before tourists will setnout for Kureyka”, she finished her comments. Irina Tyurina stressed out that tourism does not only promote the construction of architectural monuments, it also stimulates the further development of regional infrastructure”. It seems, however, that the development of the Krasnoyarsk region is not making much progress right now – thanks to the new project of Stalin’s pantheon to be rebuilt. Tyurina added that tourism often promotes the economic development within the region, which is particularly true for the region of Krasnoyarsk. “It will hardly be worthwhile though to try making Stalin’s pantheon a tourist attraction”.

Echo Moscow, 19.04.06