Many paintings in public buildings not officially on record

Following the disappearance of a large format oil painting by Tiit Pääsuke from the premises of the Järva County Government, there has been interest in the fate of other works of art being held at various public buildings. As it turns out, a fair amount of artkwork is not officially on record anywhere.

A quick look around the former building of´the Järva County Government reveals that at least six unaccounted for pieces by famous Estonian artists adorn the walls of the building's offices and hallways

Hung up in a hallway in a statehouse in Paide are woodcut pieces from Ilmar Torn's series "Eestimaa." An abstract flower painting by Peeter Mudist can be found in the meeting room of the county governor. There is no information, however, regarding the owner of the most impressive work of art — an oil painting by Ants Viidalepp depicting Andres and Pearu from A. H. Tammsaare's novel "Truth and Justice" fighting the forces of nature.

For some reason, however, the Ministry of Finance only took over ownership of just four works of art when the Järva County Government ceased operations.

 "According to the instrument of delivery and receipt to the Ministry of Finance, there are four Heiti Polli paintings," Aivo Toomistu, director of the Järva Office of the Ministry of Finance's Regional Administration Department, told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera." "In other words, ministry officials regarded the inventory very formally, only counting property that was already on the record."

Merilin-Siret Sahku, director of the ministry's Administrative Department, likewise confirmed that the ministry based their approach on that which was already on record, but that they would be sure to go look over the works of art still hanging at the Järva County statehouse.

Surprisingly, the valuable artwork is spread across three floors of the Paide statehouse, which is not guarded on site by a single security guard. One Heiti Polli painting was even hung next to the front door.

Toomistu noted that over the years, a number of works of art have ended up in county government buildings about which they have no exact records.

According to Sahku, the ministry is to review everything that is currently in their possession, including these works of art. "What is important is that these works of artistic value remain in the counties, as they are often tied to the local area and people," she added.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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