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Soviet-Era Busts Found In Tajik Parliament Building

The old Soviet-era busts of communist leaders were found hidden in a secret room in the Tajik parliament.
DUSHANBE -- Workers renovating the Tajik parliament building were surprised to find four Soviet-era busts -- including one of Josef Stalin -- stashed away in a hidden room, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Communist Party of Tajikistan chairman and parliament deputy Shodi Shabdolov told RFE/RL that workers removed a wall while renovating the interior of the building today and found a small secret room containing the busts of Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels.

Shabdolov said Stalin's bust must have been hidden there after then-Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Politburo General-Secretary Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin's personality cult in February 1956.

As for the other three busts, they must have been removed from public view and hidden in the early 1990s, Shabdolov said.

The parliament building previously housed the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic's Supreme Soviet.

Shabdolov said Shukurjon Zuhurov, speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, has agreed that the busts of Marx, Engels, and Lenin will be placed in Shabdolov's office in the parliament building.

The bust of Stalin weighs 400 kilograms and is therefore difficult to move, but Shabdolov undertook to find a suitable location and have it transported there.

Read in Tajik and see photo gallery here