Approximately 30 officials, researchers and experts of various fields participated in the work of the group which began on June 30, the head of the working group Asko Kivinuk announced at yesterday's press conference. State Secretary Taimar Peterkop justified the non-disclosure of the names of its members with Russia's hybrid war.
According to Kivinuk, among the 322 objects considered, there are 213 war grave monuments, two war grave markers valuable as works of art, 96 memorials, five commemorative plaques and six other objects. 163 of them are municipal, 87 private and 60 state-owned. In the case of six, their ownership is not clear, and one – the Maarjamäe complex in Tallinn – is state/municipal property.
The group estimates that 188 monuments need to be removed, including 133 grave markers. Of the latter, 54 have already received the decision of the War Graves Commission, but in the case of 79 it is possible to replace the grave marker by the decision of the Minister of Defense and with the permission of National Heritage Board. Of the remaining 55 objects, 11 are owned by the state.
The removed grave markers will be replaced by already designed neutral markers, which will be placed on all war graves to be remodeled.
A new, neutral grave marker
Under international law, war graves must always be marked. The Government Office working group, in cooperation with the Academy of Arts, ordered the design of a neutral grave marker which will serve as a model for their production. Grave monuments marked with the ideologically charged symbols of a foreign power are replaced by neutral signs, in places where the remains are taken to a cemetery and where this is not done, at least not initially.