Ukraine: Chunks of Lenin statue 'for sale'

A man hits the Lenin statue with a sledgehammer

Pieces of the toppled Lenin statue are now apparently for sale in Ukraine.

The popular online bulletin board Slando carries an advert encouraging buyers to purchase a "piece of history", with the seller asking $125 for a 13kg piece of the statue's hand, about $93 for a piece of arm and almost $6 for a kg of smaller parts of the monument. But the statue's head is considered "priceless" so bidders are invited to name their own price. The Lenin statue stood in central Kiev for 67 years until it was toppled by anti-government protesters on 8 December. Rallies have continued for several weeks, with demonstrators demanding the dismissal of the government after its U-turn on EU integration.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian prime minister compares the toppling to the Afghan Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in 2001, Ukrainian news agency Unian reports. And journalist Svyatoslav Tseholko likens it to the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Iraq in 2003. "It looked as if this was a monument to [Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych," he says on his Facebook page. Ukraine's three opposition leaders refuse to take responsibility for the incident. Local communist leader Petro Symonenko, despite his party's presumably atheist stance, suggests God has "already punished" those responsible by "depriving them of intelligence", Unian reports.

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