October 29, 2021

Quote-Unquote Eternal Flame


Quote-Unquote Eternal Flame
Chisinau's Eternal Flame in better times. Wikimedia Commons user Zserghei

Amid technical issues, gas shortages, and high winds, officials in Moldova's capital of Chisinau have decided to make the Kafkaesque (Gogolesque?) decision to turn off the city's eternal flame for the time being.

Last week, the supply of gas to Chisinau's "Eternity" memorial park was officially cut off. The Moldovan Ministry of Defense officials cited low pressure in the pipes and a forecast of windy days as reasons for temporarily shutting down the monument, but ongoing gas tensions with Russia are likely not helping (you know, the typical fare for nations in the midst of frozen conflicts with Russia).

Technically, a piece of the fire has been transferred to the Museum of Military Glory to be nurtured and maintained until the light comes back on. But for now, the site of the eternal flame will have to be empty.

Of course, eternal flames aren't supposed to be extinguished: as the name implies, they should provide a constant gas-powered fire to remember the war dead, usually from the Great Patriotic War. They're also a ubiquitous fixture of many a post-Soviet cityscape and have certainly graced our pages more than once.

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