Story By: Anna Casap, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Various council leaders in a Ukrainian town are threatening to sue workers who flogged off a valuable statue of Lenin in a row over unpaid wages.
The staff who are working for council owned utility services in the town of Zhovti Vody, which is located in south-central Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk Oblast region, decided to flog off the statue because of a shortfall in wages and payments into their pension fund.
They say that the council has not been dealing with their demands and as a result they were forced to take action to flog off unwanted items from storage warehouses.
However nobody realised that the statue of Lenin was worth so much, and workers were delighted when it netted half a million UAH (about 16,250 GBP) after they put it up for sale as scrap metal.
It was described in the auction information as “non-ferrous metal scrap of the corresponding class, and not a historical landmark”.
But there was fierce bidding for the six-tonne bronze monument which is 4.5 metres (14.7 feet) long and that eventually sold to an anonymous bidder.
When the town council found out, they said they planned to take legal action to stop the deal going through as the council staff had no right to sell off what they now realise was a valuable asset.
Statues of Lenin were common in Ukraine but they were mostly demolished and melted down as of the fall of the Soviet Union and again with the Euromaidan protests from November 2013 to the revolution in 2014 that saw President Viktor Yanukovych ousted from power.
Deputy Mayor of Zhovti Vody, Egor Kharitonov, said: “This is community property that was not transferred to a utility for the purpose of a business transaction. It was simply handed over for storage.”
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