Budapest: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban came under fire Friday for the removal of a statue of a politician executed by the Soviet Union after the failed anti-communist revolt in 1956.

Authorities ordered the relocation of a bronze statue of Imre Nagy, who was prime minister at the time of the rebellion, from a square near the Hungarian parliament in Budapest.

Nagy was hanged in 1958 for his role in the failed uprising.

According to plans, the statue is to be placed in a less prominent location next year.

A reconstruction of a post-World War I monument dedicated to the victims of a short-lived communist regime in 1919 will take its place.

Opposition parties accused Orban Friday of historical revisionism as well as aiming to rehabilitate Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s interwar leader who became an ally of Nazi Germany.

In 2014, the government caught flak for a World War II statue that Jewish leaders said whitewashed Hungary’s role in organising deportations of Jews to Nazi death camps.

Orban’s supporters argue that the premier is restoring public spaces in the capital to their pre-World War II appearance and function and erasing traces of Hungary’s communist era, which ended in 1989. — AFP

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