The Chancellery of the Riigikogu announced on Thursday that there would be no winner of the competition for a new monument for the Governor's Garden next to Toompea Castle to commemorate Estonia's statehood, as the jury decided unanimously that none of the entries had a design that fits the purpose.
According to ERR's Aktuaalne kaamera newscast there were 14 entries. According to rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Mart Kalm, who served as a member of the jury, none of the entries appropriately balanced historic and artistic aspects. Those who were interesting from an artistic point of view didn't do justice to history, and vice versa, Kalm explained.
The jury's verdict was unanimous. The prize money will still be awarded though: according to Kalm, the entrants had done a lot of work, and this needed to be taken into consideration. The top three entries will get €10,000, €6,000, and €4,000.
"If the artists have given it all they could, and are getting paid the prize money, then this money hasn't gone to waste," Kalm said, adding that it happened often that these competitions didn't produce what was actually wanted.
The top three entries will be presented next week. With the jury's decision the search for a suitable motif will continue later. The original suggestion was to erect a monument to Konstantin Päts, Estonia's first president. This proposal faced opposition, most importantly from President Kersti Kaljulaid, who opined that commemorating an autocratic ruler right next to the seat of the Riigikogu was inappropriate at best.
Renovation of the Governor's Garden is set to begin in March next year, with a new contest for a monument to follow after its completion.
Editor: Dario Cavegn