Ministry mulls future of 'Corner House' in Rīga

The Culture Ministry (KM) has developed two scenarios concerning the house on Brīvības Street 61, former KGB building and current home of a part of the Occupation museum – whether to keep the house under state ownership or not, KM said in a statement on February 21.

The building on Brīvības Street 61, called Tetera House, or State Security Committee (KGB) building, or “corner house,” has been waiting to be inhabited for several years. It is now more associated with the Occupation Museum's display on the ground floor, but it covers only eight percent of the 8,500 square-meter building. The rest of the area requires additional funding from the state every year.

With the exception of premises rented in the building by the museum, the rest of it has been uninhabited since 2008. Attempts to house state and municipal authorities here proved unsuccessful. 30-year tenancy auctions ended without result. Furthermore, at the instigation of the Ministry of Culture as the monitoring authority, the auctions were suspended three years ago. Much of the building is now deemed hazardous due to noncompliance with fire safety, and yet more funding is needed.

“It is important for the Ministry of Culture (KM), as the public administration responsible for the museum sector, that the exhibition created by the Museum of Occupation remains in the Corner House and that the long-term lease relationship with the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is maintained. In order to ensure this, KM has developed and directed an informative report for consideration in the government, which, among other things, envisages evaluating two possible scenarios for future action with the corner house,“ said Lita Kokale, head of the public relations division of the Ministry of Culture.

Given the total financial investment needed, one solution would be steering the corner house toward divestment. A lease agreement with the Society of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia was entered into on May 13, 2020 with a lease term until December 30, 2050, which is also corroborated in the Land Register.

A second possible solution would be to continue to retain ownership of the corner house for the state joint stock company State Real Estate. In such case, KM prepared a draft order which provides that from the State budget program “contingency funds”, EUR 847,000 shall be allocated for transfer for the execution of emergency construction works of the corner house in 2024. 


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