Ukrainian community welcomes closure of Lenin Museum in Finland

April 25,2024 245
Ukrainian community welcomes closure of Lenin Museum in Finland

Finland is closing the Lenin Museum in Tampere, which has been operating for 78 years. According to the Museum’s director, Kalle Kallio, the decision is due to funding issues, as reported by Yle.

The Ukrainian community in Tampere welcomes the decision to close the institution. “The existence of the museum was an absurd continuation of Lenin’s cult of personality and the glorification of Sovietism in Finland, which recognized the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Symbols and monuments are very important for a correct understanding of history. The Ukrainian community in Tampere is glad that this monument to the totalitarian Soviet regime, which exterminated tens of millions of Ukrainians, will no longer be part of our city,” said Vitaliy Zabolotskyy, Head of the Association of Ukrainians in Tampere. 

“We can no longer operate under the name Lenin because it only leads to misunderstandings. I have sent several good applications for the funding of the Lenin Museum, but they were unsuccessful. Let’s see if another name will be more appropriate,” says Kallio.

The institution is scheduled to fully shut down by November 3, with the exhibits being dismantled. In its place, organizers aim to launch the Nootti Museum (“Note”), which will explore the history of relations between Finland and Russia. “Note – this is what moves between countries. It is an expression of dissatisfaction or a comment to another country. We had critical moments when notes came from Moscow to Finland,” explains Kallio.

The Lenin Museum, founded by the Finland-Soviet Union Society, was visited by all the major Soviet leaders, becoming almost a sacred site following the collapse of the Soviet Union. While the exhibits were refreshed and the focus shifted to highlight pivotal moments in USSR history, the museum still evokes a sense of nostalgia for many visitors, according to journalists.

The Nootti Museum is strategizing to engage a new audience by targeting local residents. “History did not end after the collapse of the USSR, and we do not want to remain hostages of the past. The cruelty of authoritarianism has returned to Russia, but it is unlikely to be related to Lenin, who died over a hundred years ago. The former name no longer corresponds to the content of our exhibition; it misleads visitors and causes misunderstandings,” emphasized the institution’s director.

Photos: Marko Melto / Yle; Juha Kokkala / Yle