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Two Unknown Gentlemen Heatedly Discussing the Politics of the Day

In Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, lies a superb statue of the two great political philosophers and co-authors of the communist manifesto Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Ironically placed in front of the American University of Central Asia the statue is passed by hundreds of students and teaching staff every day. The statue is surrounded by a large park which features other random statues.

It is not known whether the two figures are the subject of conversation among the locals. Unfortunately their names have been removed from the monument. So to many the statue is shrouded in obscurity, just two unknown gentlemen heatedly discussing some issues of the day. This anonymity is in itself surprising as the famous hammer and sickle, emblem of the Russian Revolution, can be seen hanging from the many university buildings.

A Replacement for Another Monument to Stalin

The statue of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was erected in 1957 in the central square but it is unknown who designed and built the statue. It is also unconfirmed but locals tell the story that the statue was built to replace one of the former Russian leader, Joseph Stalin, which had previously been resident on the site.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan and Bishkek in particular made some attempts to move on from their Soviet history. Some statues of former communist leaders which could be seen dotted around the city were removed. but, on balance it seems as if the local authorities saw little to be gained from the removal of this particular Marx statue. The stone monument of the two men was produced in superb detail. It has weathered the years well, in part due to the regular maintenance by local students.


[one_half]Opening Hours: Open all hours[/one_half][one_half_last]Address: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Price: Free[/one_half][one_half_last]Website: n/a[/one_half_last]


Photo credit:  Photo 1 by Dan Lundberg.