Museums dissatisfied over lack of representative in endowment foundation

Estonian Maritime Museum.
Estonian Maritime Museum. Source: Meremuuseum

Museum advocacy organizations sent a letter to the Minister of Culture Tiit Terik (Center), in which they expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the fact that there were no museum representatives included in the Cultural Endowment of Estonia's new folk culture fund.

The final composition of the endowment was confirmed by the former Minister of Culture Anneli Ott (Center) on November 3.

"It is worrying that there are no museum sector specialists added to the composition. With this decision, the whole museum sector as the preserver, researcher and mediator of cultural heritage and national identity is left aside unreasonably in the deciding processes of the area," Kerttu Männiste, board chair of the Estonian Museum Association of Museum Interest Organizations, and Agnes Aljas, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian National Committee of ICOM wrote in a joint letter.

They stressed that both organizations had submitted their candidacy to the Cultural Endowment at the right time. A representative of a museum has been included in the endowment's composition since 1999.

Estonia's new folk culture endowment is an important support measure for museums' educational and research activities. During the three application rounds in 2021, over 70 museum applications have been satisfied in the sum of €180,000.

On November 8, the Cultural Endowment announced the composition for the next two years. The folk culture endowment includes Jorma Sarv, Liina Veskimägi-Iliste, Marju Kõivupuu, Piret Voolaid, Raul Talmar, Tarmo Kivisilla and Tiina Tegelmann.

In addition to the two interest organizations in the field of museums, the Estonian Art Museum Foundation, Narva Museum Foundation, Estonian Maritime Museum Foundation, Estonian Open Air Museum Foundation, Tallinn City Museum, Tartu City History Museum, Estonian Health Museum (Estonian Health Museum Foundation) have also signed the letter.

Interior and landscape architects are also concerned

There are others dissatisfied with the composition of new endowments. Representatives of interior architects and landscape architects sent a similar letter of concern to the Minister of Culture about the new composition of the architectural endowment.

"We are very concerned that representatives of the Estonian Association of Interior Architects (ESL) and the Estonian Association of Landscape Architects (EMAL) have not been appointed to the Architecture Endowment. ESL submitted a corresponding candidate to the Estonian Cultural Endowment in time. We see a legal intrusion with the Cultural Endowment's regulation which states that the activities of each endowment are organized by the endowment council, which includes seven people active in the fields of culture," Reio Raudsepp, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Interior Architects, Kristiina Kupper, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Landscape Architects wrote in the letter.

They noted that with this decision, interior architecture and landscape architecture, which are important associations in the field of architecture as a cultural field, have been unduly excluded from the decision-making process in their field. ESL has been represented in the architectural endowment of cultural capital since 1999, consistently since 2003.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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