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Polish embassy intervenes over cemetery sculptures in Ukraine

Polish diplomats in Ukraine have intervened over a controversial plan to remove two sculptures with Polish symbols from a cemetery in that country that holds the remains of many Poles

Oct 29

16:31
2018

Polish diplomats in Ukraine have intervened over a controversial plan to remove two sculptures with Polish symbols from a cemetery in that country that holds the remains of many Poles.

The diplomatic intervention came after a district council on Thursday demanded that the sculptures be removed from the historic cemetery in the city of Lviv because they were “a symbol of Polish occupation" of that city,

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv, known as Lwów in Polish, is home to many ethnic Poles and was part of Poland before borders shifted after World War II.

"Our diplomatic post in Kiev intervened today with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said at a press conference in Warsaw on Friday.

He added: “I hope it is still possible to come to an agreement on this matter.

I wouldn’t want emotions to prevail over ... Poland's strategic goal, which is to develop positive diplomatic relations with Ukraine.”

Czaputowicz said he discussed the issue of the sculptures—which are in the form of lions at the Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów—with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin when the latter visited Warsaw on Tuesday.

 Czaputowicz said Klimkin promised to “raise the issue of the lions with the Lviv authorities in person on his way back to Kiev and declared help in finding a way to resolve the matter.” An international panel of historians in July discussed a range of sensitive Polish-Ukrainian issues at a conference in Warsaw.