Tracing communist history in Budapest's landscape

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tags: Communism, Budapest




BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The toppling of statues and monuments during times of political upheaval has been a well-documented act in Eastern and Central European history.

Among the cathartic gestures following the fall of communism in 1989, many of Budapest's granite and stone giants were swiftly uprooted and later carted off to a field 30 minutes away from central Budapest that has become a sculpture park for the scorned monuments.

Save for a cubist rendition of Marx and Engels flanking the entrance, Memento Park is an open-air depot of rusty socialist-realist statues, arranged inside a walled complex lined mostly with pebbles.

The iconic Republic of Councils Monument, a giant statue of a worker charging forward and the most inadvertently comic of the installments, is even the butt of irreverent jokes: Some say it looks like a running beachgoer, others say a cloakroom attendant. Beyond that, however, the grounds are meant to serve as grim but honest reminders of 40 years under communist regimes....




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