Montpellier pays tribute to Lenin

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Georges Freche ordered five statues for the southern city of Montpellier, celebrating Lenin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt and the French socialist leader Jean Jaures.

Each weighs in at between 850 kilos (1,874 pounds) and a tonne and each cost local taxpayers an estimated 200,000 euros (260,000 dollars). They were unveiled on Wednesday and will be formally inaugurated next month.

Mr Freche, a former Socialist who was expelled by the party after making what were regarded as racist comments about the French football team, says the art will honour the "great men of the 20th century".

Next year, five more figures will arrive, bringing Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nelson Mandela and Mao Tse-tung to Montpellier.

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