Tallinn to allow sports complex behind victims of communism memorial

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Flowers and wreaths were left at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Tallinn on March 25, 2021. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn City Government has established a detailed plan which will allow the Levadia football club to build a sports complex behind the Memorial to the Victims of Communism at Maarjamäe.

Memento, who was behind the installation of the memorial, will convene its members next week to discuss what to do next. The group has previously fought the plans arguing the sports complex will be too noisy and disrupt the dignity of the memorial.

Due to the theme of the memorial, the subject has raised people's emotions, ERR's Estonian news portal wrote.

The members feel they have been deceived as they were told by the previous government that the complex should be built elsewhere in the city.

"It was agreed that this complex would not come here and the state and the city would work together to find a more suitable location for the hall. At the moment, it seems that the current government has thrown this agreement in the trash and still decided to proceed with the detailed plan", said Kalle Vellevoog, co-author of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.

Of ministers present at the discussions, Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) is still in the government and confirmed that an oral agreement was indeed reached. However, no conditions were set for the complex to be built in another place. 

"I think we should turn to the Minister of Justice. I agree to help because I participated in good faith and a compromise should be possible," Aab said.

The city, state and Levadia officials confirm that legally everything has been done correctly and according to process. 

However, the building of the complex does not concern interest groups, but the general public as the names engraved on the monument's walls concern most Estonian families.

Tallinn offered Levadia the opportunity to find a replacement plot of land if the owner of the land, the state and Levadia could reach an agreement.

"After which the state and Levadia went behind closed doors. And Levadia came out - they could not find a common language, [and said] please continue the planning process," Andrei Novikov, deputy mayor of Tallinn, said. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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