Prague 6 authorities order scaffolding around Konev statue to be dismantled

The Prague 6 authorities have ordered that the scaffolding and tarpaulin around the controversial statue of Soviet Marshall Ivan Konev be taken down after around 200 people gathered at the site to protest against the decision to cover up the statue on Monday evening.

The protest followed a week of isolated incidents in which the tarpaulin was torn down and replaced.

The local administration had the monument, which has repeatedly been vandalised, covered up saying it was the cheapest and easiest way to protect it.

Activists who opposed the move said it was an insult to the Red Army which liberated the country in 1945.

Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

The Prague 6 authorities have been pushing for the statue to be moved to the grounds of the Russian embassy.