I spent a week in Tallinn last summer and one of my favourite places was the Soviet statue graveyard around the back of the Estonian History Museum next to the Pirita Promenade.
All the Soviet heroes are here. There’s a towering bronze of Stalin in his overcoat. And countless soldiers bravely heading off to war. Vladimir Lenin is particularly well represented with a number of giant busts ‘rescued’ from various squares around the city and a large disembodied head that hovers disconcertingly on a tiny stand.
You don’t have to pay to see the statues. Just nip down the passage way to the side of Maarjamäe Palace.
Not so long ago they were simply left stacked against the wall of the palace, hidden in long grass. Now they are professionally displayed on a nicely manicured stretch of lawn, each with a sign telling you the name of the artist who created them and where they were originally displayed.
I’m not sure what the Estonians make of them. I guess enough time has passed for the bitter memories of the Soviet times to have faded a little.
There were a lot of young families there when I visited. The mums and dads watched and laughed as their kids clambered over the heads of former tyrants like they were climbing frames.
As good a sign as any that the power they once had to intimidate and oppress is long gone.