A Tallinn property which was the former home of noted Estonian composer and choirmaster Gustav Ernesaks has been placed on on the rental market.
The Cultural Endowment of Estonia (Eesti Kultuurkapital) has listed the property, on Oru tänav in the Kadriog district of Tallinn, on the Arco Vara realtor site, at an asking price of €3,800 per month.
The property had previously been managed by music concert organizers Eesti Kontsert, who ran it as an accommodation business.
Margus Allikmaa, director of Kultuurikapital, said: "Eesti Kontsert no longer wanted the building for their use. It proved more of an expense for them than a source of income, and really became a burden for them."
With that in mind, the new managers will be renting the house out.
"Kultuurkapital's wish is to keep the house for itself, but in such a way that will not prove a major burden to us either. This makes renting the only option," Allikmaa, a former board chair of public broadcaster ERR, went on.
Selling the property is out of the question, Allikmaa added.
"If that were to happen, it would be completely out of our control, but we want to keep the house in the same condition it has been in. For this reason, we don't want just any kind of tenant in the house, but a decent one. We would prefer, for example, some sort of foreign representation."
If the €3,800-per-month rental tag is achievable for some of our readers, we ought to add that around €1,000 per month needs to be added to that for bills – the property is heated electrically and has air conditioning.
Kertu Orro, manager of Eesti Kontsert, said that the organization had relinquished management of the property because Kultuurikapital management had demanded land tax starting from this year.
"Under these conditions, Eesti Kontsert was unable to continue the cooperation, and the house returned to the owner's possession," Orro told ERR.
Ernesaks' family had previously said that a former head of Kultuurikapital, Avo Viiol, had made a verbal pledge after Ernesaks' death in 1993 that the house would house a museum honoring the composer.
Allikmaa said that while he has not seen any contract permitting such a use, Kultuurikapital would have nothing against anyone who wanted to takeon the task of installing the museum and bearing its running costs.
In any case, none of Ernesaks' former possessions are now at the property, but are housed instead at the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum (Teatri- ja muusikamuuseum), also in Tallinn.
Ernesaks lived at the property, which was constructed by members of the national men's choir (Eesti Rahvusmeeskoor), from 1953 until his death 40 years later.
Kultuurikapital purchased the property from Ernesaks' family in 1997, at a cost of 1.2 million Estonian kroons (a little under €77,000).
The property next door, at Oru 12, comparable in size, is currently listed for sale on the kv.ee portal with an asking price of €1,400,000.
The property is set away some distance from Oru, a quiet backstreet close to Kadriorg Park, and contains seven guest rooms, and continued in operation under Eesti Kontsert's management to the end of last year.
The Oru 10 real estate listing is here.
Gustav Ernesaks (1908-1993) was a composer and choir conductor. A statue of a pensive Ernesaks has graced the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) for nearly two decades now.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel