Hungary removes statue of anti-Soviet hero Imre Nagy


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The Hungarian authorities have removed a much-loved statue of Imre Nagy, hero of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising, from a square in central Budapest.

The Nagy statue is being moved to Jaszai Mari Square, a northern location away from the parliament building.

Some critics accuse Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist government of revising the country’s history.

A monument to the victims of a short-lived communist regime in 1919 will replace the Nagy statue.

Imre Nagy was hanged in 1958 for his role in the uprising. A pro-reform communist, he had sought to free Hungary of hardline communist rule, but in 1956 the revolt was crushed by Soviet tanks. Pro-Moscow hardliners were reinstalled in power.

The statue was erected in 1996 at Martyrs’ Square.

In 1989 Viktor Orban – then an anti-communist activist – addressed a rally celebrating the reburial and rehabilitation of Imre Nagy.

But in recent years Mr Orban has forged closer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer who has restored Soviet-era symbols and who regrets the collapse of the USSR.

The new monument at Martyrs’ Square will replicate one that stood there during the pro-Nazi rule of wartime Admiral Miklos Horthy, who fuelled anti-Semitism.

Nagy’s granddaughter Katalin Janosi is among those opposed to the square’s redevelopment.

Mr Orban’s supporters say the aim is to return parts of the capital to their pre-World War Two appearance, before the decades of communist rule.

There have been many tweets protesting at the disappearance of the Nagy statue.


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