Vidmantas Bezaras, director of the Cultural Heritage Department, told BNS that the experts were still discussing whether to add the square named after Cvirka to the register.

"The monument has been stripped of the status," he told BNS. "An intensive discussion about the square is underway."

Certain formalities have still to be completed before the council's decision on the monument takes effect, the director added.

The council of independent experts considered requests from Culture Minister Simonas Kairys and Vilnius City Municipality.

Remigijus Simasius, the capital's mayor, wants the Petras Cvirka Square to be added to the register as "a characteristic example of neoclassical style".

People calling for taking down the monument cite the 2019 findings of the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center that Cvirka actively collaborated with the Soviet authorities and his collaboration had serious and damaging consequences for the fate of the Lithuanian state and its citizens.

Those advocating against the removal say that efforts to indiscriminately destroy Soviet heritage are no different from Soviet censorship and that Cvirka's literary talent must be valued and separated from his political activities.

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