Russian towns hope to get tourists to come to their towns by erecting statues of Joseph Stalin. "Hitlerland" theme park in Munich still on hold.

A Russian region has restored a memorial to Josef Stalin in a bid to boost tourism, in the latest of a spate of new statues and busts of the former Soviet dictator.

"The idea was launched by travel agents," Yevgeny Pashenko — a deputy governor of the Krasnoyarsk region in south Siberia — was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"It’s a purely commercial project aimed to attract tourists in the region, without any political basis," he added Wednesday.

The 400-square-metre memorial has a life-size statue of Stalin in the centre. It has been closed since 1961 and was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1995.

Statues of Stalin were once dotted across the Soviet Union but disappeared after his personality cult was condemned by the Soviet Communist Party in 1956. But he has made a comeback in several Russian towns in recent months.

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In December a Stalin museum was opened in the city of Volgograd.

The same month a bust of him was erected in the Russian Caucasus town of Digora, drawing protests from human rights activists who cited the bloodshed and deportations he presided over during his nearly 30 years in power.

During ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II last May, campaigners succeeded in briefly getting a bust of Stalin erected in the city of Krasnoyarsk, but it was taken away on the orders of the authorities.

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