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Copyrights to works of Estonian poets Under, Adson in German hands

The Estonian Ministry of Culture has discovered that the copyrights to the works of Estonian poets Marie Under and Artur Adson do not belong to the Estonian state.

According to recent information, 62.5 percent of the copyrights to Under and Adson's works belong to the German state of Bavaria, reported investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress (link in Estonian).

The owner of the remaining 37.5 percent of copyrights is the Estonian Cultural Society of Sweden (Eesti Kultuuri Koondis Rootsis).

These circumstances were revealed in the course of a copyrights audit conducted within the ministry last year.

According to information available to the paper, no documentation was found that would have confirmed the poets' works belonging to the Estonian state.

Prolific couple

Marie Under, born in 1883, was an Estonian poet who met fellow poet, writer and theater critic Artur Adson, born in 1889, in 1913. The couple, who both belonged to first the Siuru and later the Tarapita literary movements, married in 1927.

In 1944, Under and Adson fled into exile in Sweden, where they continued to publish new works and ended up spending the remainder of their lives. Following their deaths in 1977 and 1980, respectively, the pair were buried in Stockholm's Skogskyrkogården, or Woodland Cemetery. In 2016, Under, Anson, daughter Hedda Hacker and Under's sister Berta Under were reburied in Tallinn's Rahumäe Cemetery.

Marie Under's works include a number of poetry collections as well as collections of letters.

Artur Adson's works include poetry collections, memoirs, plays, a collection of letters and even a children's book. Adson, who was awarded the Order of the White Star, Fourth Class in 1939, was known in particular for his work in the Võro language.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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