Minister: Outgoing heritage chief caused confidence loss in institution

Piret Hartman.
Piret Hartman. Source: ERR

The outgoing head of the state heritage protection board, the Muinsuskaitseamet, lost the confidence both in her institution and in the area as a whole, Culture Minister Piret Hartman (SDE) says.

Monday she would be stepping down from the post as heritage board director, a position she took up in the summer having been gender equality commissioner in Estonia since 2015.

The heritage board falls under the culture ministry's remit.

Pakosta's resignation followed media allegations of the misuse of public funds in the course of performing the job.

Appearing on ETV politics show "Esimene stuudio" Wednesday evening, Hartman said: "Unfortunately, what happened was that Liisa Pakosta lost trust both within her organization, in her institution and in the field. I believe that it was the only right step for Liisa Pakosta to resign so that this field and institution could move forward," said Hartman in the "First Studio".

An internal audit of Pakosta's expenses was not carried out with the intention of removing her from her post, Hartman added.

"Our [culture ministry] Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General also met with Liisa in advance [of the audit]. Since we did not get sufficient answers from Liisa Pakosta, conducting the audit was needed to obtain these answers," she went on.

"I hope that with the resignation of Liisa Pakosta's resignation, this [issue] will end. And I hope that we will soon find a dignified and good, competent and competent leader," the minister added.

Ministry of Culture Secretary General Tarvi Sits told ERR following Pakosta's resignation that cooperation had not gone smoothly in relation to differences of opinion over what the board's role, vision and function are, while a politician, SDE MP and former minister Jevgeni Ossinovski, said that her appointment to her previous post as gender commissioner had been political.

Pakosta leaves her role on October 16

While appearing on "Esimene stuudio", Hartman also answered questions over a planned housing which was to have been erected adjacent to the National Museum (ERM) in Tartu.

Hartman said that following consultations with environment minister Madis Kallas, the houses will not be built close to the ERM, opened in 2016, and so will not spoil the museum's aspect.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Esimene stuudio

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