Temporary barriers set up around Maarjamäe World War Two memorial

Warning signs near the Maarjamäe Memorial.
Warning signs near the Maarjamäe Memorial. Source: Keskkonnaministeerium

The Ministry of the Environment is limiting access to parts of a Soviet-era memorial complex in the Pirita district of Tallinn, as a safety measure as the installation continues to crumble.

The move follows concerns over the Maarjamäe Memorial's condition, which reportedly includes a risk of falling masonry in the vicinity of the World War Two monument.

Deputy chancellor at the ministry, Margit Martinson, explained that for a long time the ministry, together with the city of Tallinn and other ministries, has been looking for an answer to the question of how to solve the Maarjamäe complexes' issues, including land ownership, and to arrange the renovation of the facilities.

The memorial is situated on land whose responsibility - be it the City of Tallinn or the state - is not clear yet, Martinson said.

"As finding a solution takes time, public safety has to be ensured. We want to help the stateon this question and we are establishing a safety zone around the memorial complex area," she said.

From Monday, October 5, temporary barriers will be set up around the memorial, including its most visible feature, the Jääretk obelisk.

The state real estate body, the RKAS, ordered an audit in 2016 which said that the complex was already in a dangerous state and recommended renovating it as soon as possible, given that the rate of decay can if anything accelerate. The audit also recommended posting warning signs and partly limiting the access to the area.

Progress on doing that foundered on the land ownership issue, though members of the public have reportedly acted on their own initiative in recent times to put up makeshift warning signs.

The Ministry of the Environment, responsible for managing the land issue, has submitted a memorandum on the Maarjamäe memorial complex, where they ask for direction on solutions from the national government, who are in turn set to discuss said memo.

Renovating the memorial would cost around €3 million, it is reported.

The Maarjamäe memorial stands on Pirita tee, between the Lasnamäe ridge and Tallinn Bay. It was erected to commemorate those who had fallen defending the Soviet Union in World War Two. The nearby Memorial to the Victims of Communism was unveiled in 2018.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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