Portraits of Soviet era agricultural ministers have been removed from the walls of the rural affairs ministry, following the departure of Mart Järvik, released from office last week. Portraits of agricultural officials dating from the Nazi occupation of Estonia were also removed.
According to daily Õhtuleht (link in Estonian) the portraits, which had been hung on a wall opposite the rural affair's minister's office in mid-October, were removed Tuesday morning, following a statement by Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop that the ministers of agriculture dating from the occupation period, i.e. 1940-1991, were not part of the continuity of the Republic of Estonia and a request to remove those which fell during that time.
Peterkop said he had learned about the existence of the portraits via the media. Mart Järvik had requested their installation after becoming rural affairs minister in late April.
Järvik was released from office following a government-initiated inquiry into his activities, headed by Taimar Peterkop. The inquiry found he had overstepped his authority with regards to at least two bodies under his ministerial remit, had been involved in potential conflict of interest situations, as well as discrepancies over the exact timeline he had become aware of Listeria allegations at a fish processing plant.
Editor: Andrew Whyte