Written: Written between May 1 and 13, 1918
Published: First published on April 20, 1963, in the newspaper Sovetskaya Kultura, No. 49. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 82c-83a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Why is it that, contrary to the decision of the C.P.C. and in spite of unemployment (and in spite of May Day),
work has not been begun in Moscow
1) on a proper removal of tsarist monuments?
2) on the removal of tsarist eagles?
3) on preparing hundreds of inscriptions (revolutionary and socialist) on all public buildings?
4) on setting up busts (if only temporary ones) of various great revolutionaries?
 Lenin wrote this letter to P. P. Malinovsky, Acting People’s Commissar for the Properties of the Republic, in connection with the implementation of the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars “On the Monuments of the Republic”, adopted on April 12, 1918, = and published on April 14 in Pravda and Izvestia. The decree set the task of removing monuments to the tsars and their servants that were of no historical or artistic value, and of erecting revolutionary monuments. A special commission, consisting of the People’s Commissar for Education, the People’s Commissar for the Properties of the Republic and the head of the Fine Arts Department of the People’s Commissariat for Education, was instructed to determine which monuments in Moscow and Petrograd were to be removed, and advised to enlist the services of artists in designing new, revolutionary monuments. The Council of People’s Commissars proposed that by May 1 the commission should have removed the ugliest monuments and submitted the first models of new monuments, and should also hasten arrangements for replacing old inscriptions, emblems and street names by new ones reflecting the ideas and sentiments of revolutionary Russia.
Lenin attached great importance to the implementation of this decree, the progress of which was discussed at the sittings of the Council of People’s Commissars on July 8, 17 and 30, 1918. Lenin repeatedly criticised the heads of the People’s Commissariats for Education and for the Properties of the Republic, and the heads of the Moscow Soviet, for the unsatisfactory implementation of the decree (see this volume, Document 109, and present edition, Vol. 35, documents 171 and 176, pp. 360, 368).