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Culture minister: I would increase spectator capacity to 3,000

"Otse uudistemajast": Tõnis Lukas. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) said he will make a proposal to the government to raise the limit on spectator capacity at events to 3,000 people.

Lukas said on ERR discussion show "Otse uudistemajast" that the implementation of spectator capacity restrictions depends on the size of the room and a 50-percent capacity should certainly be followed going forward.

He added that following all hygiene restrictions and conditions would hopefully normalize the situation by August 31, when all restrictions could be canceled.

His proposal to increase spectator capacity regards the Baltic Chain tournament, an exhibition basketball tournament held in Tallinn in July. Lukas considers the tournament and other major events important cultural events that will also create new jobs. Rally Estonia, the first round of the suspended World Rally Championship season, held in Southern Estonia on September 4-6, will create 2,500 temporary jobs by some estimations.

Lukas recommended people visit concerts and festivals over the summer and praised organizers for their work to ensure safety.

Commenting on the sexual harrassment case of Aivar Mäe, director of National Opera Estonia, Lukas emphasized Mäe's contributions to Estonian culture but added that justice will be made after a long line of investigations and questioning.

Lukas concluded: "He has the potential to direct for Estonia again in the future."

On June 22, Eesti Ekspress published an article which claimed Mäe had humiliated and harassed female colleagues for years. Initially, Mäe denied the allegations and called them malicious, but later he made a public apology.

The Estonia council, which met extraordinarily June 26, decided to keep Mäe in his position for the time being. The council then announced that a trustee had been called in to assist.

On July 2, the council agreed to suspend general director Aivar Mäe's employment contract for two months.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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