Tajikistan to replace last Lenin monument with state founder

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Dushanbe, January 17 (Itar-Tass) Tajik government willdismantle its last Lenin statue, removing yet another vestigeof communism from the Central Asian state.

"The 36-meter-tall statue of the communist leader will bereplaced with a no less impressive monument of the founder ofthe Tajik state, Ismoil Somovi," said Mayor of KhudzhandSodikzhon Mirkholikov last week.

He said that the city authorities made the decision inkeeping with the reconstruction plans. He also warned themedia not to find any political reasons behind the move.

Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became aconstituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century,known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.

The Tajik authorities have done away with nearly everysymbol of the Soviet period through the independence years.

The city of Leninabad, a leading industrial and culturalcenter of Tajikistan, was renamed Khudzhand. Streets namedafter Soviet military commanders, scientists and writers wererenamed, too.(Itar-Tass)

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