Memorial to 1918-1920 independence war planned for Paide

Politicians in Paide, Järva County are looking at a potential monument in the town center, to commemorate the 1918-1920 War of Estonian Independence, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Friday.

The monument, if it gets built, will replace a dilapidated building (see gallery) which, while it served as a community center for much of its existence, was set up as a memorial tot he fallen a few years after Estonia became independent, though the proposed monument will not be sited at the same location.

Paide's relatively young mayor, Eimar Veldre (SDE), said that the goal of constructing a monument to the War of Independence has been included in the city's development plan.

Veldre told AK that: "I think that this is a very reasonable and necessary thing to do, since it is actually a task that undertaken almost a century ago yet has not yet been done," referring to the community center, built by way of commemoration, and is now condemned.

Ründo Mülts of the local Järva County museum said that the Paide community center is one of the very few buildings in Estonia which was built with the support of public donations to commemorate those who died in the 1918-1920 war.

In fact, the building (pictured) constituted a wooden construction which had previously been at the site of the Pikaküla manor, some kilometers to the north of the town, which was dismantled bit-by-bit and reassembled in Paide.

Ideas could include erecting a site at the central Lembitu Park, while a competitive process could be unveiled too, Mayor Veldre said, with, given the city's tight budget constraints, this competition announced in 2024 followed by community fundraising.

Another option, the private purchase of the community center, is not viable finances-wise for the city, he said.

The community center, opened in 1929, is to be demolshied, and likely to be replaced by a retail building, though no deal has yet been reached, AK reported.

The building ceased to function as a community center when the cultural center in the town (now a theater) was opened.

The matter will be discussed at city council level next Thursday.

Paide is the venue for the annual Opinion Festival, held every August.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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