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Estonians move step closer to erecting Freedom Monument


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Judges have selected the winning entry for a competition to design an Estonian Freedom Monument.

The column - depicting an outline of Estonia within a cross - will stand 28 metres tall in the capital city of Tallinn, intended as a memorial to the Estonian struggle for independence.

Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo told the Baltic Times that the monument had been commissioned because of the need for a "landmark to symbolise liberty for our people".

But the design has not yet won the approval of the general public. A previous attempt to erect a Freedom Monument in 2002 was scuppered by widespread opposition to the winning design.

And voices of discontent are already surfacing about this latest proposal.

"The first impression is that the jury was composed of people not connected with art, because the winning entry represents politicians' rather than artists' taste," architectural history professor Mart Kalm told the Baltic Times, adding that the design was too literal and naive.

Other monuments in the capital have also caused controversy in recent times, most notably the Bronze Soldier statue erected in 1947 by the Red Army.

Civil unrest broke out in April when authorities attempted to relocate that relic of the Russian occupation, which many saw as a symbol of communist terrorism.

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