via Twitter / Mark Krutov

Toilet bowl placed at former site of Ivan Konev statue in Prague

An unknown person or persons placed a porcelain toilet bowl at the site of the removed statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague 6

Prague, May 9 (CTK) – An unknown person or persons placed a porcelain toilet bowl at the site of the removed statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in a square in Prague 6 and Prague police are now investigating the incident, police spokesman Jan Daněk told CTK today.

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The municipality had the toilet bowl removed, Prague 6 Mayor Ondřej Kolář told CTK. He condemned the incident, saying it is especially contemptible that it occurred during the days celebrating of the WWII.

The toilet bowl was most likely put on the covered plinth from the Konev monument last night, Kolář said.

The police have not yet classified the act, Daněk noted.

The Konev monument was installed in Prague 6 in 1980 in honor of Konev’s contribution to the liberation of Prague in 1945.

Later critics, however, pointed to Konev’s role in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising against the Communist regime in 1956, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The Prague 6 Town Hall had the statue removed in early April because it repeatedly became a target of vandalism.

Russian diplomacy protested against the removal, and Russian authorities launched a criminal prosecution of the Prague 6 officials, which the Czech Foreign Ministry called inadmissible.

The monument is set to become the subject of talks between Russian and Czech representatives under a bilateral agreement on friendly relations and cooperation from 1993.

The Konev statue, valuated by experts to be worth 13 million crowns, is currently held in a depository near Prague.

Prague 6 wants to display it in the planned Museum of the Memory of the 20th Century.

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) told Hospodářské noviny in late April that the Czech Republic was prepared to negotiate the statue’s transfer to Russia.

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