Lenin Statue in Bishkek
By Contested Histories Initiative • May, 2022
The Lenin Statue in Bishkek was erected in 1984, during the 60th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic. Shortly after the fall of communism in 1991, all Lenin statues were taken down. However, Bishkek’s Lenin stood in the same square until 2003. This year, the square was going to be renovated to celebrate the 2.200 anniversary of the Kyrgyz statehood. The Lenin statue was then relocated near the Old Square. The reason for the relocation remains unclear. The government’s explanation’s vagueness and inconsistency allowed different interpretations to appear and provoked different reactions. This case analyses the process of contestation that started after the relocation of the Lenin statue.