Haapsalu museum may auction off work to find €200,000 needed for renovation

The Evald Okas Museum, in Haapsalu.
The Evald Okas Museum, in Haapsalu. Source: ERR

A museum in the Western Estonian town of Haapsalu still lacks €200,000 for wide-ranging renovation work to the building which houses it. The work itself is underway, and while the museum, the Evald Okas Museum (pictured) on Karja 24, will be closed until next summer, management are now planning to auction off some of its hosted artwork, to help find the required finance.

The institution has already received over €355,000 in support from the EEA and Norway grants program towards the work.

A further €150,000 was allocated for that purpose from the domestic county development program, while the museum's own resources, support from the City of Haapsalu, heritage protection and local businesses are all apparently available, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Sunday.

Nonetheless, the museum says, it is still €200,000 short of the total €900,000 it requires for the work, and so it is auctioning off some of its artwork.

The auction and sales campaign started with a concert on Sunday in Haapsalu, but bigger events are yet to come, the museum says.

Museum representative Mara Ljutjuk told AK that: "At the end of September, we have a big auction coming up in Tallinn, and certainly towards the spring, and we really hope that people will want to participate in the reopening of this house."

Several artists have expressed interest in donating works for the auction, Ljutjuk said, adding that other projects which come as part of the renovation plans would include a lift for those with restricted mobility.

Another spokesperson for the museum, Üla Koppel, said that the building's third floor, a separate annex in the museum's courtyard, and the courtyard itself, were also potential recipients of renovation work and consequently funding.

Koppel added that the €900,000 applies to the first phases of the redevelopment.

These initial phases concern the renovation of the first and second floors of the museum building, while repairs to the facade and a new heating system are also planned.

The renovated first and second floors are expected to open next summer.

Evald Okas (1915-2011) was a painter most noted for employing the Socialist Realist style, for instance his work on the ceiling of the Estonian National Opera (Rahvusooper), as well as for his portraits of nudes.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera", reporter Juhan Hepner.

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