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State realty firm to close Patarei Sea Fortress to visitors

State realty firm Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) will be closing Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison to visitors in October, as the historic building is becoming too dangerous to safely visit.

According to RKAS Communications Manager Madis Idnurm, the contract with the foundation Mänguväljaku Fond, which has run the Patarei Prison Museum, for use of the property was terminated because it is not possible to ensure the safety of visitors, and in order to ensure safety, the old prison complex buildings will be closed and appropriate warning signs posted, wrote Estonian daily Postimees (link in Estonian).

"The current tenant must hand the Patarei Prison property at Kalaranna 2, including the prison building and the property within the prison walls, over to RKAS by October 7 of this year," said Idnurm.

Foundation director Andrus Villem believed that the goal here was simply to empty out Patarei in order to rob its current tenants of the motivation to hinder ongoing detailed plan procedures.

In addition to Villem's foundation, Patarei's gates will be closed in fall to the complex's other inhabitant, the Information Centre for Sustainable Renovation, as well; the center maintains a warehouse of used materials in a separate building located within the complex walls.

Idnurm confirmed that RKAS has a contract with Villem, and that after its termination deadline, all tenants who have established themselves under his permission must likewise vacate the property.

Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison, which was completed in 1840, was built on the order of Russian Emperor Nicholas I. Originally intended for use as a sea fortress, the complex was used as a barracks until the collapse of the Russian Empire. From 1920 until 2002, it was used as a prison by various regimes, and the main part of the complex was declared a cultural monument of the Republic of Estonia in May 1997.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

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