Thursday, 30 April 2015

Berlin lizards impede Lenin's resurrection

Lenin has lain in a sandpit at the southeastern edge of Berlin since 1991 when the city, desperate to rid itself of the painful reminders of its division, cut the 19-meter (62-foot) statue into more than a hundred pieces and buried them.

Now, after administrative battles with reluctant authorities and grumbling from Berliners who thought they had got rid of the old communist forever, a museum plans to resurrect the 3.5-ton, 1.70-meter head this summer for a planned museum of disgraced monuments from the city's tumultuous history.

There's just one little problem left to solve before it can finally glimpse the light of day: lizards. Sand lizards, to be precise, strictly protected by European wildlife conservation rules.

Approaching the site with the crane, bulldozers and truck that will be needed to shift Lenin would disturb the striped creatures just as they're getting ready for the mating season, during which they turn green. So they must be encouraged to move away before the exhumation can commence. That's the law.

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