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Artists Want Brodsky Buried in Russia

February 1, 1996

MOSCOW (AP) _ President Boris Yeltsin supports a proposal by a group of Russian artists to have emigre poet and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky buried in his native St. Petersburg, the Kremlin said Thursday.

The artists are discussing the issue with Brodsky’s widow in New York, presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev said.

The group includes Brodsky friends Mikhail Baryshnikov and poet Yevgeny Rein, the Interfax news agency reported.

Brodsky, 55, died in his sleep at home in New York on Sunday, apparently of a heart attack. He had lived in the United States for nearly a quarter of a century after being imprisoned and then exiled by Soviet authorities.

Medvedev said Yeltsin supported the idea of burying Brodsky in the city of his birth ``in accordance with Brodsky’s literary will.″

The poet reportedly left no formal will regarding burial. But in an early poem, he wrote he would ``come to die on Vasilievsky Island,″ a region of St. Petersburg.

Brodsky never returned to his homeland after the Soviet collapse, as many emigre artists did.

Yeltsin, according to Medvedev, has proposed publication of a two-volume memorial edition of the poet’s works. City officials in St. Petersburg said Wednesday they plan to issue a collection of Brodsky’s poems and put up a plaque at his former home.

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