Michael Jackson and Joseph Stalin have a lot in common. Michael likes uniforms with plenty of medals; so did Stalin. They both get a lot of bad press. And now this: Promoters of Michael's upcoming HIStory international tour want to erect a temporary statue of the Gloved One on the very site in Prague where a large statue of Stalin once stood.

Jackson opens the tour in Prague on September 7, and his people apparently think that such an historic occasion ought to have an instant monument. So local promoter Serge Grimaux suggested that a 33-foot-tall statue, used to advertise the release of HIStory last year, be put up temporarily on a cliff overlooking the Old Town in the Czech capital.

Actually, the Stalin statue hasn't occupied that spot since 1953, when he died and it was quickly pulled down. Still, many Czechs are uneasy about commercializing an historic area. Grimaux says he's now negotiating with city officials for the necessary permits. He emphasizes that Jackson is not trying to make a political statement: "I believe he is very sensitive to these kinds of things."

Jackson arrives in the Czech Republic on September 3 for an itinerary that Stalin could have related to--tours of local hospitals and orphanages--while an expected crowd of 130,000 cheers.

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