SEATTLE -- Seattle's mayor wants Fremont's privately owned Lenin statue taken down, likening it to Confederate monuments as a symbol of "hate, racism and violence."
A day after a small group led by conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec called for the statue's removal, Mayor Ed Murray agreed it should be taken from its spot in the Seattle neighborhood.
“In the last few days, Seattleites have expressed concerns and frustration over symbols of hate, racism and violence that exist in our city. Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities. We should remove all these symbols, no matter what political affiliation may have been assigned to them in the decades since they were erected. This includes both Confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian Soviet regime. Both are on private property, but I believe the Confederate memorial at Lake View Cemetery and the Lenin statue in Fremont should be removed. We should never forget our history, but we also should not idolize figures who have committed violent atrocities and sought to divide us based on who we are or where we came from.”
The mayor further explained his desire in an interview with Q13 News' Brandi Kruse.
"I have had a position on that for years, because Fremont sits in my old legislative district," Murray said. "That monument represents to many people in this city that their families having been murdered."
"I think it's time for these things to go," he said. "They don't represent the best of who we are."
The mayor reiterated that both the Lenin statue and the Confederate memorial at Lake View Cemetery were on private land and privately owned.
"We can't tell the private property owner what to do," Murray said. "But we can say we think this isn't a good message to the city."
An American military veteran and teacher spotted the sculpture in an Eastern European scrap yard 1989, and mortgaged his house to bring the sculpture to Issaquah. The teacher recognized the statue as a piece of art, regardless of its subject.
The statue is now owned by the teacher's family, and it sits at the "temporary viewing" site in Fremont while it's for sale for $250,000.
According to Fremont.com, the presence of the sculpture is supposed to elicit a wide range of responses as a piece of art.
Shortly after news of the mayor's call to bring the statue down, Posobeic tweeted, "We did it!!!"
The statue is often doused in red paint to draw attention to the atrocities committed while Lenin led the Soviet Union.