Culture minister after Narva visit: Many are asking what next

Piret Hartman.
Piret Hartman. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE) said on the "Vikerhommik" radio show that many people in Narva are asking what comes next, following the removal of the "Tank T-34" monument.

"I can say that the people I talked to accept it [the decision to relocate the tank]. The mood was calm. But many asked what comes next. Some asked me whether the people of Narva are expected to give up anything more," Hartman said.

She added that many in Narva asked about plans for restoring trust and whether other problems in Ida-Viru County will be addressed at all.

Hartman said that matters of education, living environment, waste management, jobs, salaries and healthcare are paramount in the county.

Host Taavi Libe asked asked how to reach people who see the end of World War II in a completely different light, make them understand it along the same lines Estonians do?

"Having worked in integration for over five years, there is no one fix and different topics need to be addressed. The switch to Estonian language education has been mentioned. But it is important to me that people who have already graduated would also strive to speak better Estonian. The Ministry of Culture wants to improve the availability of both culture and sports. We need to pay attention to more cultural events coming to Ida-Viru County, considering just 20 percent of residents are Estonian-speaking," Hartman said.

The culture minister added that information space must also be addressed. "Over the last 30 years, residents of Ida-Viru County have been heavily influenced by Russian media networks. It was decided on February 24 that these networks will no longer be publicly available. We need to think about alternatives we can offer."

Hartman said that it is important for people to have a place where they can remember their ancestors. "What it should be will become clear in the course of future debates. But the topic has been discussed in the government and during meetings I had in Ida-Viru County," she offered.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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