The Tartu Artists' Union has won a court case against the Ministry of Culture, gaining official recognition and the right to state funding.
Previously only the Estonian Artists' Association had recognition as an artistic association, with the right to decide how state funding will be shared among its members.
The ministry had rejected two applications from the Tartu union for similar recognition, saying that membership is overlapping and the nation needs only one representing body for artists. But Tallinn's Administrative Court ruled otherwise on Monday, siding with the union in its case against the state.
Markus Toompere, who heads the Tartu Artists' Union, said in July that the nationwide union is too centered on Tallinn, while the needs of its members in Tartu, and other cities outside of the capital, have long been ignored.
He told ERR News today that Tartu's artists will win from the ruling, as funding will be closer to them. Toompere said that other cities may also found such organizations and the nation's local art scenes will thereby be enlivened.
It is currently unclear whether the ministry will appeal the court's decision.