Unions call for disclosure of government's Soviet monument committee

Monument to the Night Battle of Tehumardi in Saaremaa.
Monument to the Night Battle of Tehumardi in Saaremaa. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

Architects and artists' unions are calling for the government to release the names of people sitting on its Soviet monument committee and their protocols and decisions to increase transparency in the process.

The unions said they support the committee's founding but demand the disclosure of members, meeting minutes and decisions, which are currently classified.

The commission's work may be undermined if the work is not transparent, they wrote, arguing the public sector and its institutions should follow the principles of a democratic and transparent society.

"All decisions and discussions concerning public space have been public in the Republic of Estonia and must remain so," they wrote in an appeal to the government.

The unions said they are also prepared to appoint people to the commission who are willing to take public responsibility for such work. 

The appeal was made by the Estonian Association of Architects (Eesti Arhitektide Liit), Estonian Sculpture's Union (Eesti Kujurite Ühendus), The Estonian Society of Art Historians and Curators (Eesti Kunstiteadlaste ja Kuraatorite Ühing), the Estonian Artists' Association (Eesti Kunstnike Liit) and the Estonia Landscape Architects' Union (Eesti Maastikuarhitektide Liit).

The committee was set up by the Government Office last month to deal with Soviet monuments in Estonian public space which depict symbols of occupation. So far they have been tasked with mapping the objects and clarifying the laws around removal.

Only the head of the committee, Asko Kivinuk, has been named, while the other members are classified due to security reasons.

"In the Russian legal system, people who start to move or move the respective monuments can be given a prison sentence. And we simply don't want to publish the names of the other people [members of the commission]," he told ERR. 

The working group is made up of people from the culture, interior and defense ministries as well as other relevant institutions, Kivinuk has previously said.

It is estimated that there are between 200 and 400 memorials that may need removing. Many will be relocated to museums or graveyards.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Helen Wright

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: