Center MP: Maarjamäe memorial site must be handed over to City of Tallinn

Maarjamäe memorial.
Maarjamäe memorial. Source: Kirsti Jõesalu

MP Tõnis Mölder (Center) says that the Soviet-era Maarjamäe World War Two should be given to the City of Tallinn, together with the means to support the reconstruction. The site, currently owned by the state, requires restoration as parts of it are hazardous.

On Monday, August 24, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) ruled out the idea of demolishing the Maarjamäe World War Two memorial, as well as the Linnahall. after Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) called for the city to do so.

Kõlvart said Tallinn expects the state to allocate €3-4 million to carry out extensive reconstruction works at the site, constructed in 1975 to commemorate fallen Soviet fighters during World War Two, after which Tallinn would commit to further maintaining it.

Interior minister Mart Helme told ERR on Monday that both the Maarjamäe memorial, in Pirita, and another Soviet edifice, the Linnahall, in the capital's harbor district, should ideally be removed, though he noted that his stance would be likely to draw heated debate at cabinet level.

"Estonian society is mature enough to understand the content of various objects. Also, those monuments that were built during the Soviet regime. As of now, the memorial complex erected at Maarjamäe has become a recreation area for the people of Tallinn, where it is possible to enjoy beautiful views of Tallinn Bay," Mölder, who was deputy mayor of Tallinn 2017-2019, said.

Maarjamäe memorial is an important feature of Pirita tee and its surroundings, he said. "I am of the opinion that society must not be divided with talk of demolition. In this case, it would be reasonable for the state to hand over the entire complex to the City of Tallinn and allocate the corresponding funds to fix it. Residents of the city center and Pirita district have been waiting for years for the area to be tidied up, and this is the last moment to do so, because most of the memorial has become dangerous for regular visitors," Mölder said.

Mölder added that he supports the opinion of art historian Jüri Kuuskemaa, that the Maarjamäe memorial is interestingly placed in terms of landscape, and the adjacent Memorial to the Victims of Communism balances its appearance well.

The nearby Memorial to the Victims of Communism was unveiled in 2018 to commemorate those who were deported to the Gulag system, or otherwise repressed, during the Soviet occupation of Estonia.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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