Memorial to rescuer of Jews made part of protected cultural heritage

The Žanis Lipke Memorial – a place in Rīga dedicated to the memory of eponymous Žanis Lipke, a noted savior of the Jews during World War II – has been included on the official list of protected cultural heritage, Latvia's official state bulletin reported May 3.

The announcement says the memorial is a unique testimony to a man of great determination and selflessness. Žanis Lipke (1900–1987) was able to save more than 50 Jews through the Second World War under Nazi occupation.

The State Inspection for Heritage Protection says the memorial was created by synthesizing the authentic Ķīpsala working-class structure with the Noah's Ark of the Old Testament. "The object has excellent scientific, culturo-historical and educational value," the inspection said.

In related news, the Latvian PEN Centre on May 2 awarded Lolita Tomsone, the director of the memorial, with its first annual freedom of speech award. 

The Centre praised Tomsone for her activities in defending women's rights, protecting Rīga's trees, as well as helping preserve the memory of Jews and other people who've suffered in the Holocaust on Latvian soil.

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