In my series of A to Z of statues I have already been twice to Liberty Square in Budapest.
First for Imre Nagi who led the Hungarian uprising of 1956 (since removed by the way by the Hungarian Nationalist Government of Viktor Orban in case it offends his Soviet pal Vladimir Putin) and secondly for Louis Kossuth who led the 1948 revolution against the Austrian Empire.
This time I am here for a statue of Ronald Reagan who is held in high regard in Hungary and elsewhere in Eastern Europe for his opposition to Russian control of Eastern Europe and his role in breaking up the Soviet bloc and Communist control of Eastern Europe.
The header picture is a street named in his honour in the Polish town of Nowa Huta near Prague.
In 2018 I stayed overnight in a hotel in Thetford in Norfolk and got to stay in the Ronald Reagan room…
Removing Ronald Reagan from Liberty Square might be a step to far for Viktor Orban.
Ronald Reagan it seems is curiously popular. 2003 in a television USA viewers voted him the Greatest American of all time and in terms of Presidents alone that was ahead of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt and John Kennedy.
It makes me think about Mount Rushmore.
If they were doing it again now (2021) who would be the fab four I wonder. Washington and Lincoln I predict would still be there but Franklin Roosevelt would replace Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald would cruise in and most likely replace Thomas Jefferson.
At this time a lot of countries used a similar format to determine the greatest whoever.
There were also some odd results elsewhere, Russia voted for Josef Stalin (responsible for an estimated 60 million deaths), France for Charles de Gaulle instead of Napoleon or Louis XIV, Portugal for Antonio Salazar (a dictator), Spain for King Juan Carlos (now disgraced) and Canada for someone called Tommy Douglas who turned out to be Scottish. German viewers bypassed Otto Von Bismarck (voting for Adolf Hitler was not allowed) and voted post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as the greatest German of all time.
Two predictable votes were Winston Churchill in the UK and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. In India voting for Mahatma Ghandi was not permitted on the basis that he would so easily win so it would be a pointless contest. The winner was B. R. Ambedkar, the ‘founding father of the Republic of India’.
In New Zealand viewers voted for the physicist Ernest Rutherford. In nearby Australia they had a hard time getting a short list of fifty and about 50% of those included were sportsmen. Personally I would have voted for Richie Benaud but the Australian public went instead for the bush poet Andrew “Banjo” Patterson famous for many things down under but mostly for the song “Waltzing Matilda”.