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Save the Baranov Monument in Sitka, Alaska/Спасите памятник Баранову в Ситке, на Аляске

This petition had 206 supporters

Dear friends, colleagues, and citizens:

We became aware that some residents of the Sitka area have been advocating the removal of the monument to Alexander Baranov (1747-1819), who is known as the first governor of Alaska. Our general position is to preserve all monuments in their current places and settings. It is a big mistake to judge history and history monuments by present-day standards. If we step on the slippery slope of bending history to the wishes of specific racial, ethnic or identity groups, we will only amplify existing current ethnic, racial, and cultural conflicts. 

The Baranov monument is a signature marker of one of the important periods in Alaska history. This statue is not about his personality.  It is about Alaskan history that represented the "sixteen shades of grey": wars, peace, mutual trade, cultural exchange, and intertribal and inter-ethnic marriages.  Alaska is the society of many voices, and we understand well that history was, is and will be an object of controversy. Yet, in a democratic society, the issues of cultural preservation and cultural landmarks are usually resolved in a democratic manner instead of catering to the wishes of radical activists or relying solely on executive decisions of mayors and municipal councils’ ordinances. 

Ultimately, it is the Sitka community and nobody else who must decide the fate of the monument in its current setting. At least, we need to know what Sitka residents themselves think about this important issue; a simple collection of signatures in favor of the removal of the monument cannot be counted as a legitimate and democratic way to resolve this issue. The ideal solution in such situations is for the city officials to initiate a referendum regarding the fate of the Baranov monument. As an option of a last resort, we suggest the Baranov statue be moved to another public setting in the Sitka city instead of being relegated inside a museum building.

Please join our common efforts to respect our common past!

Members of  Russian America, the Historical and Enlightenment Society, Moscow

Today: Alexander is counting on you

Alexander Melnik needs your help with “Sitka city assembly: Save the Baranov Monument in Sitka, Alaska/Спасите памятник Баранову в Ситке, на Аляске”. Join Alexander and 205 supporters today.