members of the city Assembly of Sitka discussed the issue of the transfer of the monument for over an hour. According to eyewitnesses, the discussion was very emotional. In the end, by six votes to one it was decided to move the monument from its current location in the city centre, a local history Museum. After that, the authors of the other resolutions proposed to bring the issue to a citywide vote in local elections in October, removed it from the agenda as unnecessary.
“We believe that the transfer of the monument Baranov opens a “Pandora’s box” and could lead to subsequent renaming of streets, boulevards, Islands and other place names in Alaska,” he said in an interview “RG” the Chairman of the coordination Council of Russian compatriots in the United States Elena Branson.
According to her, during the hearings were announced proposals to interpret the events of the Baranov only from the point of view of the indigenous population.
At the same time, Branson was pleased that the monument will take in a Museum and not destroyed at all.
“We want to hold a series of events with educational purpose about the Russian heritage in Alaska,” she said.
the head XORS United States noted the concern that the authorities Sitka delivered its verdict to the monument to the first Governor of Russian America without public discussion, including with the Russian Diaspora. “We are very concerned that the wave of protest events in the United States, without discussion, and prompts our representatives suddenly such decisions”, – she noted.
the Mayor of Sitka’s Gary Paxton assured “RG” that “the monument will be moved to the Museum in a respectful and positive manner”.
In turn, a member of the Assembly and former mayor of Vallauris Nelson, which was the most active opponent of the transfer of the monument, expressed his confidence that in fact the decision was made long ago in secret, and the meeting was just a formality.
an Indirect confirmation of this can be considered the fact that Paxton is still a week and a half ago said about a similar decision with confidence. “We are working with local organizations in a positive constructive manner. Appropriate place in our Museum – the most likely option,” – he said “RG” July 3.
“it is clear that the issue was resolved in advance because the mayor Paxton started his speech, saying that he had met with a representative from the indigenous tribes Katie hope Erikson, and that they came to the conclusion about necessity of transfer,” said Nelson.
According to her, three members of the Assembly and three representatives of the tribes then described how we should move the monument.
“For me this meeting was very difficult and emotional. When it became obvious that Kevin Mosher, a resolution on removal of a question on the city ballot in October ne will garner the necessary four votes, and we withdrew. It is very difficult to Express their feelings about what happened. I can only say that I am very disappointed with the actions of our Assembly,” said Nelson.
Alexander Baranov was the first Governor of Russian America and founded Sitka (then Novo-Arkhangelsk), more than 200 years ago. It is named after an island Baranof on which is located the city, as well as the Alexander archipelago.
Trying to preserve the monument at the same place, XORS the United States released a petition to the authorities of Sitka, which was signed by about 6 thousand people. At the same time, the petition supporters of the transfer of the statues received less than 3 thousand votes.