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Removal of the Lenin Memorial, Holford Square, Finsbury, London

RIBA Ref No RIBA28742
Architect/DesignerLubetkin, Berthold (1901-1990)
CountryUK: England
CityLondon
Subject Date1942
Image Date1942
ViewExterior
MediumPhotoprint
Library Reference5061/5 (N2159)
OrientationLandscape
Colour InfoBlack and white
CreditRIBA Collections
SubjectTown planning ; Monuments ; Housing
NOTES: In 1942 during the siege of Leningrad the Foreign Office suggested to Finsbury Borough Council that a memorial should be erected to Lenin who had briefly lived at 30, Holford Square in 1902-1903. Only part of this house remained as the square had been almost obliterated by enemy action. The blandishments of the Foreign Office together with Lubetkin's more forceful arguments convinced Finsbury Council to take appropriate action and the memorial was unveiled in May, 1942 with the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, and the Russian ambassador in attendance. The bust, however, was quickly defaced by vandals and after an acrimonious dispute that led to questions being raised in Parliament, Lubetkin and a few fellow members of Tecton took the matter into their own hands, removed the structure with a crane and buried it in a grave in Holford Square. Lubetkin's idea that the square should be laid out as a new housing estate eventually came to fruition, but Lenin's image was replaced by one of Ernest Bevin (1881-1951), the Minister of Labour in the war-time coalition government and Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour Government.
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