Narva tank now in Viimsi museum hangar, likely on display by weekend

The T-34 tank in its new location, a hangar at the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi.
The T-34 tank in its new location, a hangar at the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi. Source: Estonian War Museum

The 'Narva tank' is now inside a hangar at the national war museum in Viimsi, near Tallinn, after its removal Tuesday, and while much of the focus on events dealt with political aspects, the museum's chief noted that, at 30 tonnes, the logistical side was noteworthy too.

The museum's director, Hellar Lill, told ERR that the tank, the famous T-34 model from World War Two, was: "Now inside the hangar. We are improving its condition today, and tomorrow, and we will also try to move it around a little and clean it up, since it has been exposed to the elements all this time."

In fact, noone had as yet opened up the tank's cupola or other points of entry yet, so it is not clear whether the weight might come from concrete which might have been poured inside at some point during its installation as a monument.

"We don't know about that yet, because we haven't had time to look inside. It makes sense to open those top hatches which are welded shut," Lill said.

Meanwhile, if members of the public bring flowers or candles to the tank's current site, as had been the case while it was in its original location just outside Narva, Lill said that staff at the museum would be on hand to explain what was appropriate activity and what was not, implying that flowers or candles were in the latter category.

"It's in a museum now, it's part of the military and technological history environment, and is no longer an idol," he said.

As per earlier statements, Lill said the hangar should be open to the public by the weekend, and technical data and info would be displayed beside the exhibit.

The state made the decision to remove the tank early Tuesday morning, while the authorities cordoned off the surrounding area ahead of that task. It took about four hours to winch the tank off its plinth and on to a military flatbed truck, which then set off for Viimsi, arriving there

By comparison, modern-day Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks such as those in British Army service currently based at Tapa, weigh around 65 tonnes, and are usually driven from Paldiski after embarking there from the U.K. Some civil engineering work is being carried out to ensure bridges etc. are up to the task.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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