Former government minister Peeter Olesk dies

Peeter Olesk (1953-2021).
Peeter Olesk (1953-2021). Source: Lauri Kulpsoo

Politician and academic Peeter Olesk has died. He was 67. Olesk was a government minister in the 1990s and also a literary museum director and University of Tartu librarian.

Born in Tallinn on December 25 1953, Olesk graduated in philology from the University of Tartu in 1977.

He was a member of the Estonian National Independence Party, formed while Estonia was still under Soviet occupation, in the early 1990s, joining the forerunner to Isamaa, in 1995 and remaining in that party for the rest of his life.

Olesk was population minister in Mart Laar's first administration (1993-1994) and culture and education minister 1994-1995, under Laar and then Andres Tarand.

He subsequently sat in the Riigikogu's IX composition, 1999-2003.

He was also director of the Estonian museum of literature (Kirjandusmuuseum), and of the University of Tartu Library, and worked as advisor to the rector of the university, and also to the rector of the Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool).

He was decorated with the Order of the White Star (Valgetähe teenetemärk), Class III, in 2001.


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