The Kissing Students sculpture will once again be on show in the center of Tartu. For the time being however, the sculpture will only be visible from behind a fence, as construction work continues around it.
Although construction work is still ongoing in Tartu's Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats), one of the city's most recognizable symbols, the Kissing Students sculpture, has now returned to its rightful place after several months of maintenance work.
While the sculpture may appear to be no different from before, the fountain on which it stands has actually undergone considerable changes.
"Generally speaking, everything that can be seen is old and has been spruced up. And everything that you can't see is completely new and fresh - all of the technology, the concrete structure and the electronics," said project manager Üllar Johanson.
However, Johanson added, the renovation work did not go entirely according to plan.
"Construction comprises of plenty of unexpected things and here too, there was no getting around that. All the original plans fell through and so everything had to be redone from scratch," he explained.
Kunnar Jürgenson, head of the Tartu City Government's urban resources department, said that from the very start, the aim had been to preserve the sculpture in its original form, and so a lot of old material was used in the work. The sculpture's lighting system has also been upgraded.
"Whereas before, the lighting used to be one color, today it is possible to create different colored lighting, with either blue or yellow backgrounds, and this can be used for events," he said.
Now the sculpture is back in Town Hall Square. However, there is still some work left to be done.
"Today (Monday - ed.), the work will be completed. That is, the cleaning, installation of the lighting fixtures and checking of technical systems," said Jürgenson.
The work on the fountain is scheduled to be completed by October 31.
Editor: Michael Cole