The Washington-area's planning commission has given preliminary approval to a memorial for victims of communism.
The National Planning Commission on Thursday approved the design, which includes a bronze statue of the "Goddess of Democracy", similar to one erected by Chinese students in Beijings's Tiananmen Square in 1989. Plans are to build the memorial in Northwest Washington near the Capitol.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation have pushed for the project for more than a decade, arguing that the nation's capital has memorials to many wars but not to the Cold War.
The chairman of the foundation says donors have given about 70 percent of the $600,000 needed to build the memorial. He expects construction to begin in early 2006.
The foundation has worked to honor the more than 100 million people who were killed or tortured under communist regimes.
Some information in this story provided by AP.