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CNN apologizes for calling Brest Fortress one of ugliest monuments ever

February 7 2014, 15:46

Brest Fortress monument, Belorussia.Brest Hero-Fortress monument, Belorussia.Thursday, the American TV channel CNN editorial board asked forgiveness from the people who were offended at the mention of the monument to the defenders of the Brest fortress in a report about the least beautiful monuments in the world, voiceofrussia.com reported.

"We've realized that the mention of the Brest Hero-Fortress in our article had offended people of Belarus. We did not want to offend anyone, and we apologize," the statement on the website of the TV channel says.

In its very beginning the article about the least beautiful monuments published Thursday emphasizes: "We published this article in order to jokingly familiarize readers with monuments from all over the world. CNN acknowledges that this monument is very important for many people who remember the sacrifices committed by soldiers ". At the same time, the editors of the CNN site did not remove the "Courage" from their list of the least beautiful monuments.

As it was reported earlier, the administration of the Brest Hero Fortress complex called the fact of including the Courage monument in the rating of the ugliest monuments in the world blasphemy. The State Duma, the Council on Human Rights and the Moscow Helsinki Group also expressed their indignation with the published material.

Listing the monument to the defenders of the Brest Fortress in the rating of the world's ugliest monuments is a bad joke, head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said. "This is an inappropriate joke," Fedotov said on Wednesday.

The administration of the Brest Hero-Fortress complex said that listing the Courage monument in the rating of the world's ugliest monuments was blasphemy and that it demanded that CNN officially apologize.

"Such things cannot be joked about," Fedotov said.

"As to ugly monuments, there are many of them all around the world. I do not think that Belarus should be the leader. I am not certain. In any case, I have seen many monuments in different countries with no aesthetic value, to put it mildly," Fedotov said, voice of russia. com reported.

Russia's oldest human rights activist, Moscow Helsinki group head Lyudmila Alexeyeva said she regretted the decision of the CNN television channel to include the monument to defenders of the Brest Fortress in the list of the world's ugliest monuments.

"I am sorry that they acted this way but tastes differ," Alexeyeva told Interfax on Thursday.

The administration of the Brest Hero-Fortress said that listing the Courage monument on the rating of the world's ugliest monuments was an act of blasphemy and that it demanded that CNN officially apologize.

"This is a monument to heroes, whom we cherish greatly," Alexeyeva said. "I am sorry that it is seen this way, even by complete strangers. The monument is ugly from their point of view but tastes differ. However I will not take the same stance as those who took offence at the Dozhd [Rain] TV channel over the poll on the [Leningrad] blockade," Alexeyeva said.

CNN has insulted World War II veterans who defended the Belarusian Brest Fortress by calling the monument to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting against the Nazi onslaught as "ugly."

CNN's Iain Aitch listed the stone soldier carving called Courage among what he called "the world's ugliest monuments" and threw in some of the most unethical remarks about its exterior, misreading the expression on the face of a dying stone warrior as anger at the West or even "constipation."

The article led to an outcry among bloggers and media who condemned the American TV channel of bile and ignorance.

"This giant, angry Belarusian emerging from a mountainous block of concrete looks as if he's about to thump the West into submission before hurling North America at the sun," Mr. Aitch wrote.

Among other monuments that didn't make the cut in the eyes of the journalist are "A Conversation with Oscar Wilde" in London, Sam Hill's Stonehenge in Washington, Pope John Paul II memorial in Rome, African Renaissance Monument in Senegal and Neutrality Monument in Turkmenistan.

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