The Miniatures Park in Bakhchisarai, Crimea, made a bold statement on Friday by removing its replica of the Statue of Liberty. This decision was announced by Vladimir Konstantinov, the head of the Crimean parliament, who stated that it was a message to the United States. Konstantinov expressed his frustration with the US attitude towards Crimea, saying, “We simply won’t put up with the attitude of the US towards our country.” He further added, “Americans should think about why our country and many other civilized societies around the world aren’t willing to tolerate them anymore.”
According to Konstantinov, Russia has enough of its own monuments that can be showcased at the park, indicating that the American statue can “go home.” The replica of the Statue of Liberty, which was presented in a 1:25 scale, was blindfolded and taken down from its pedestal, which was also removed from the park.
Bakhchisarai is a small community located between Sevastopol and Simferopol, with a population of around 30,000. The Miniatures Park in Bakhchisarai is home to 86 notable historical, cultural, and architectural replicas from Crimea, including a special selection of monuments. Adjacent to the park is a zoo housing over 2,000 animals.
The Statue of Liberty, officially known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” has been a symbol of freedom and democracy since its installation in New York City in 1886. It was a collaborative effort between the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and the engineer Gustave Eiffel.
The Bakhchisarai park displayed the replica of the Statue of Liberty alongside other significant statues, such as the “Motherland Calls” statue commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad and the “Motherland” statue in Kiev. The original “Motherland” statue in Kiev recently underwent a change in its coat of arms, replacing the Soviet symbol with the trident favored by Ukrainian nationalists. The Bakhchisarai replica serves as a testament to the statue’s previous appearance.
The decision to remove the Statue of Liberty replica is emblematic of the political tensions surrounding Crimea. Following the Western-supported Maidan coup in Ukraine in 2014, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. However, Kiev and its Western allies argue that the referendum was illegitimate and continue to consider Crimea as part of Ukraine.
The action taken by the Miniatures Park in Bakhchisarai reflects the deep-rooted frustrations felt by Crimea towards the United States and its policies. By removing the replica of the Statue of Liberty, the park aims to send a strong message about the strained relationship between the two countries. Ultimately, this act draws attention to the ongoing political dispute over Crimea’s status and highlights the complex dynamics in the region.