Put up memorial plate for victim of Stalin purges, was sued by Arkhangelsk authorities

Initiators pinned to the wall of the dilapidated downtown building a plate devoted to Ignatii Bessonov, a man murdered by Stalin’s NKVD in 1938. That was not well perceived by the regional Cultural Heritage authority.
August 15, 2017


The memorial plate displays the name of Bessonov, his date of birth, as well as the dates of his arrest, murder and subsequent post-Stalin rehabilitation. It is pinned to the local Arkhangelsk house where he resided before the secret police knocked on his door.


The Posledny Adres Foundation, an initiative for commemoration of Stalin’s victims, has put up a big number of similar plates all over Russia.

However, it is the first time that authorities have take action against the initiative.

Only few days after the plate was pinned to the wall of the building in Arkhangelsk, the regional Inspection Authority for Cultural Heritage announced that it was suing the foundation for «violation of cultural heritage legislation».

The authority argues that the house in question is protected by cultural heritage regulations, and that the installment of the new commemoration plate consequently is illegal.

Meanwhile, the house is in dire condition and reportedly on the list of objects to be torn down in the near future.


If found guilty, the Posledny Adres Foundation could be fined up to 200 thousand rubles (€2.800), 7x7-journal reports.

«For me personally, these objections from the inspection authority are ridiculous, they present to us completely hypocritical claims that we have improperly dealt with a cultural heritage object with the attachment to the wall of a 11x19 cm metal plate with four screws», says Sergey Parkhomenko, one of the co-founders of the initiative.

Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer from human rights group Komanda 29, will defend the Foundation in court.

«All the people living in the house support the installment of the memorial plate, and all over Russia similar plates from «Posledny Adres» are installed with the support from the authorities. However, in Arkhangelsk, it is of principal importance with what kind of screwdriver they attach the screws», he says laconically to 7x7-journal.




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