A year that had gotten off to a rough start for Narva Museum ultimately shaped up to be a successful one — a budget deficit was offset by growth in domestic tourism, and even the museum restaurant, a source of contention, has begun to turn a profit. This turnaround has taken place under the direction of Ivo Posti.
The beginning of 2018 was a neverending nightmare for Narva Museum. The city of Narva left part of its operating subsidy unpaid to the museum, its budget was €48,000 in the red, founders of the foundation quarrelled within the council, the new museum director had not ben elected, and on top of it all, Narva city government demanded the closure of the restaurant owned by the museum.
But by the end of the year, Narva Museum had turned a nearly €40,000 profit, first and foremost thanks to the fact that it earned approximately €100,000 more than expected over the course of the year.
"The first thing that helped us was the fact that Narva is back on the Estonian map," explained Mr Posti. "And in my opinion, everyone in Narva that ignited as a result and worked in this name, reaping the rewards of this, so to speak. The performances of 'Nightingales of Kremlin,' for example. A huge number of people came through. 12% of those who attended a performance visited the museum. The goal was 10%. In that regard, we have had a very difficult but very successful year."
There are no vestiges left in relations with Narva City Council that would hint at the earlier conflict. Ilja Fjodorov, a member of both Narva City Council as well as Narva Museum Council, claimed that there is a general consensus on the museum council, and that relations between the city and the museum director appointed this year are good. Even the museum's restaurant allegedly doesn't bother the council members.
"The restaurant began turning a profit for the museum," Mr Fjodorov said. "And if it generates revenue, I see no reason to close it down."
According to Mr Fjodorov, the situation changed after the chairman of the council and the museum director were replaced.
"The issue lay in the incompetence of the director," he explained. "People have been replaced in the museum's management, and the situation began to improve drastically, and now the museum is being managed in a way that is pleasing to the state, the city and city residents alike."
Mr Posti added that his goal in taking over as museum director was to bring an end to the conflict with the city government.
"I sent a very clear signal, saying please let's discuss everything again from the beginning," he recalled. "If there are issues, then let's try to resolve them, because ultimately it doesn't benefit the city, the museum, the state or local residents if we are constantly fighting."
The new director had a hopeful outlook for the new year as well, as Narva Museum is updating its art gallery, and reconstruction work on the castle itself and a new permanent exhibit will be unveiled next summer.
Editor: Aili Vahtla