Communist-era relics for charity – a must see in the Statue Park, Budapest
Statues of Lenin, Marx, Engels, Dimitrov, Captain Ostapenko and other “heroes” of the communist-era, other allegorical monuments of “Hungarian-Soviet Friendship” and “Liberation” – just to name a few of the sights you can see in the Memento Statue Park in Budapest.
A perfect glimpse of dictatorship you can get if you enter the park, but at same time, the simple being of this park talks about democracy! There are about 42 pieces of art in the park which were all placed in Budapest, and in the country on public squares. Finally they have found their true place nicely placed in the park, which you can reach easily from any of the Budapest hotels downtown, or nearby, by public transport system.
And, as a great idea of reutilizing the numerous artefacts of this era, the Hungarian Government decided to organise an auction to sell them and give the profit to the victims of the red sludge flood in western Hungary. The items included Socialist Realism-style paintings, statues, photos and other articles of Lenin, and Hungary’s communist-era leaders Matyas Rakosi and Janos Kadar. These objects rested in peace in warehouses, and now they served charity purposes to help people. The auction was quite successful, 70% of the items were sold, the profit is about HUF 19 million, and even the Wende Museum in Los Angeles bought 25 significant works.
When walking around in the Park, you can also read about the original location of each of the statues, and upon returning to your Budapest hotel, you can try to find them. In the park, we highly recommend you to visit the Red Star Store, which offers you unique paraphernalia relating to the communist era. Fun t-shirts, mugs, soviet souvenirs, wristwatches, postcards, posters, cigarette-lighters and so on. Be aware of the fact, that you can only buy these here, and not in any of the Budapest hotels.