May Day

Decree of the Soviet of People's Commissars, 'On Monuments of the Republic'

12 April 1918

Source: Street Art of the Revolution: Festivals and Celebrations in Russia 1918-33, ed, Vladimir Tolstoy, Irina Bibikova, Catherine Cooke, Iskusstvo, 1984;
HTML: for in April, 2002.

To mark the great revolution that has transformed Russia, the Soviet of People's Commissars decrees:

1 Monuments erected in honour of the tsars and their servants and of no historical or artistic interest, should be removed from the streets and squares, some stored away and others put to some utilitarian use.

2 In accordance with an agreement with the Arts Boards of Moscow and Petrograd, a special commission of People's Commissars for Education and the Property of the Republic and the head of the Fine Arts Department of the Commissariat for Education are entrusted with the task of determining which monuments to remove.

3 The same commission is to mobilize artists and organize a broad competition for the design of monuments to celebrate the great days of the Russian Socialist Revolution.

4 The Soviet of People's Commissars expresses the wish that by 1 May some of the more monstrous statues will have already been removed and the first models of new monuments set out for the masses to see.

5 The same commission is also urgently required to organize the city's decoration for 1 May and to replace inscriptions, emblems, street names, coats of arms etc., with new ones reflecting the ideas and mood of revolutionary working Russia.

6 Regional and Provincial Soviets of Workers', Peasants and Soldiers' Deputies should also begin this work only in accordance with the instructions of the above-mentioned commission.

7 The necessary resources will be allocated on presentation of estimates and explanations of those estimates.

Chairman of the Soviet of People 's Commissars:

V. Ulyanov [ Lenin ]

People's Commissars:

A. Lunacharsky, Stalin

Secretary of the Soviet: Gorbunov