President Päts monument proposed for nation's centennial celebrations
Former foreign minister Trivimi Velliste has proposed erecting a monument to former President Konstantin Päts, the first and last pre-World War II president of Estonia.
The monument would be opened in 2018, when Estonia celebrates 100 years since the founding of the country, and would be situated in the foothills of Toompea.
Historian Ago Pajur said one must first decide what the monument celebrates, as Päts stirs up both positive and negative emotions. He added that one must not forget the bad with the good, adding that it was Päts who turned Estonia from a democracy in to an autocracy in 1934.
Velliste said a competition for ideas for the monument should be launched, and it should be opened on February 23, 2018, one day before Estonia turns 100, and exactly 144 years since the birth of Päts.
Velliste said half the funds for the monument should come from donations, and such an idea would show the strength of public support for Päts.
Päts was the prime minister of the provisional government from February 24, 1918, later the chairman of the council of ministers, the 2nd, 4th, 10th, and 13th state elder and the 7th prime minister. In 1938 he became the nation's first president. He died in a mental institution in the Soviet Union in 1956.