Fund: Latvia must decide fast whether to build contemporary art museum

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The decision on whether to build a contemporary art museum in Latvia must be made quickly as the permit for its construction expires this year, the Latvian Contemporary Art Museum Foundation said in a media statement on April 11.

The fund's representative Inga Oliņa said that the builder must be selected quickly and works must begin so the building can be commissioned in 2027 when the contract with the architect, David Adjaye, expires.

"We knew from the beginning that we were going to create an accessible, open and pragmatic institution. It's not me saying it, it's over 100 Latvian and foreign experts who were involved in the project. After eight years of working on the project I fully understand its scope. The museum [,,] is an engine for the proper research and collection of the country's heritage. [..] It's not normal that new generations grow up not knowing anything about the recent history, the importance of art and artists in the development of the country. And my heart aches that there is a wrong opinion in the public space of the diversity of contemporary art, " said the fund's board member Elita Vikmane.

Head of the National Architects Council Gatis Didrihsons said:

"The project has been developed and harmonized. It is a high quality project suitable for Latvia. This is a good time to build it, and losing it would be irresponsible."

The museum has been on the list of public necessities for thirty years now but due to the economic crisis was never built. In 2014, Boriss and Ināra Teterevs' Foundation and the ABLV Bank charity fund undertook the project for private funds. It was planned to open on November 18, 2021, but the liquidation of the bank and the passing of mecenate Boriss Teterovs changed plans again. It was decided to gift the finished project to the state.

The offer was made to the Culture Ministry in 2020. There has been no response from the ministry yet. 

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