A controversial monument to mark the crossover of Hungarian tribes from Asia across the Carpathian mountains into Zakarpattya was opened July 21, Zakarpattya oblast PR department told ZIK.
The opening ceremony was attended by Ukraine Ambassador to Hungary Dmytro Tkach and Hungary Ambassador to Ukraine Andrash Barshon, lawmaker Andrash Tot and representatives of Zakarpattya Hungarian and other ethnic communities.
Addressing the audience, Andrash Barshon says the unveiling indicates the tolerant position of the Ukrainian authorities toward the needs of ethnic minorities in Zakarpattya. “It is an indication of good-neighborly relations between our countries,” he added. Hungarian lawmaker Andrash Tot stressed that the monument will rally Zakarpattya residents and the Ukrainian and Hungarian peoples.
The monument was authored by Petro Matl, and symbolized a gateway between the East and the West. It looks like a chapel built from 7 stones, each for a Hungarian tribe that united to cross the mountains.
Comment by ZIK
March 11, Lviv oblast council appealed to their colleagues in Zakarpattya, saying it is illegal to install a monument to a foreign power. They called to dismantle all foreign monuments in Zakarpattya that humiliate Ukrainians and disrespect their national feelings. The Hungarian monument, they continued, is near the execution site of 600 Karpatska Sich fighters who were the first in Europe to rise in arms against the Germans in 1939 and were executed.
As one of the initiators of the appeal, Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok, noted there are symbols of a foreign power in Zakarpattya, notably, in the Mukacheve castle, where the monument to the Arpadovychi dynasty rule, a 33-m high column crowned by an eagle, was reconstructed against the law.
According to O. Tyahnybok, unlike Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland and Romania refused to install monuments to Hungarian presence.