Yerevan has had a long and fascinating history, and, like other capitals of the World, statues of leaders have been swapped many times since thousands of years. If you haven’t seen Yerevan in Soviet times, you’ll never guess that some of the beautiful circular flowerbeds on green grass of Yerevan’s Republic Square are now blooming on the place where Lenin’s statue used to stand between November 24, 1940 and April 13, 1991. As a child I often saw this statue surrounded by parade crowds, celebrating or forced to celebrate the glory of Soviets.
I was not in charge of deciding whether I wanted to take part in the parades or not, but at least I burned my pioneer (Soviet scouts) red tie twice while still in middle school, inspired by lots of stories from my father about how irrational the whole system was. I am proud of that, because we were forced to wear them.
Lenin’s personality was supposed to guide every single Soviet citizen for their whole life, so we had kid Lenin on our chests as a tiny metal star from 6 years on which “grew up” with us and transformed into other, different symbols.
The statue, being one of the best in the whole Soviet Union, was the embodiment of that human worship ritual, so nobody would ever imagine it being taken away. Well, it happened, but the statue is still here on Republic square, although you can’t see it because of a thick wall.