The Ministry of Culture is to establish a Tartu office on Pepleri Street, in a building that once housed a legendary university dorm. The new Tartu office will provide ministry employees a place to work while in Estonia's second-largest city.
Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) told ERR that the office will not be open all the time. New employees will likewise not be hired to staff the Tartu office.
"This is necessary because there are many cultural institutions, people and collectives in Tartu and Southern Estonia whose issues need to be addressed, and they don't always have to travel to Tallinn for consultations or to communicate their stories or proposals," Lukas explained. "And as Ministry of Culture employees end up in Tartu often enough, they will also be provided with a temporary workspace."
Employees will start working there a few days a week, the minister said, adding that he will likely be present there himself one day per week.
"My advisers will start working shifts there, and other Ministry of Culture employees will end up working there that are in Tartu at the time and need a place to work, to stop in for technical reasons, or have time to kill until their train or bus, for example," Lukas added.
Ministry of Culture Communications Department director Meelis Kompus said that the space where the office is to be established is approximately 62 square meters in size and is located at Pepleri 23.
"We cannot yet state the price [of the property], as the contract has not yet been signed, but we hope to get that done this upcoming week," Kompus said, noting that the price corresponds to Tartu market prices.
"The work environment should be properly furnished in such a way that, starting in early September, employees can begin fulfilling their work tasks there as needed in accordance with the principles of a flexible workplace," he added.
From 1949-2003, the building at Pepleri 23 housed the so-called Old Pälson's dormitory, also referred to as Päntri. It was later purchased and converted into an apartment building.
Among famous residents of the one-time dormitory are Mart Laar, Peeter Tulviste, Rein Lang, Priit Kuusk, Andrei Hvostov, Andrus Kivirähk and Tõnis Lukas himself.
Editor: Aili Vahtla