The Hungarian government is to erect a statue of the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush on Szabadság Square in Budapest, to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe – announced the Minister for the Prime Minister's Office and the Ambassador of the United States to Hungary on Sunday – reports the MTI.

In a joint statement, Gergely Gulyás and David B. Cornstein wrote that with the inauguration of the statue of 23 October "we express our common respect and gratitude towards a statesman who, through his determination and politics driven by ethical convictions, influenced the future of Europe and Hungary by supporting democracy and opposing communist dictatorship."

The statue will stand alongside that of Ronald Reagan in Budapest, symbolising the struggle the two leaders shared to abolish – in Reagan's words – the "Evil Empire".

The new statue will be placed next to the statue of US President Ronald Reagan in Budapest on Szabadság Square (Photo: Both Balázs /

They emphasised that by erecting the statue, the Hungarian state pays tribute to the memory of President Bush, who was the first US President to visit Budapest while in office.

The statement goes on to say President Bush's life work is rightly recognised and respected, as he played a vital role in ending the Cold War through his many years of public service, first as Vice-President and later as President.

A bust of Ronald Reagan can also be found in City Park (Photo: Balázs Both/

The release also emphasised that the statue is to be erected thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the reunification of Germany and Europe when liberty and democracy triumphed in Central and Eastern Europe when the Hungarian people shook off the dark years of communism and started on the road of freedom. As a result of the hard work carried out during the fall of communism in Hungary and the decades since Hungarians now live in safety and freedom.

The statement also pointed out that in the past thirty years, US–Hungarian relations have flourished both as allies in NATA and as trading partners.

A statue of George Washington can also be found in City Park (Photo: Balázs Both/

"We are united by universal truths, common values and shared goals," stated the signatories of the statement and added that the work of President Bush was an essential contribution to renewing and strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

Gergely Gulyás and David B. Cornstein said: "It is from his legacy that we know: we are stronger together, our military and political alliance, and economic partnerships guarantee our safety, strengthen our friendship and serve our common future."

The statue of George H. W. Bush is not the first monument to a US President in Budapest. A statue of the 1st President of the United States, Geroge Washington can be found in City Park and was erected in 1906.

Ronald Reagan, who passed away in 2004 is commemorated on two sites in the Hungarian capital. A bust was erected in City Park in 2006, followed by a statue on Szabadság Square next to the US Embassy, the Soviet memorial and near the Hungarian Houses of Parliament.

The statue of Gen. Bandholt was restored to Szabadság Sqaure in 1989 (Photo: Balázs Both/

Another American also has a statue on Szabadság Square, next to the US Embassy. General Harry Hill Bandholtz was the commanding officer of the US military in Hungary after the end of World War I, and on 5 October 1919 prevented the occupying Romanian troops from looting the Hungarian National Museum. His statue was erected in 1936.

The statue erected in 1936 was removed from the square in 1949, and only restored to its original location in 1989 in honour of George H. W. bush's visit to Hungary.

Source: MTI

Cover photo: Statue of Ronald Reagan on Szabadság Square (Photo: Balázs Both/