People flock to renovated national art gallery

About twenty minutes prior to the opening, a queue longer than 100 meters was formed by the freshly-restored Latvian national art gallery on Saturday, with visitors mostly very happy about the new look, called "gorgeous", "surprising", "like in a little Versailles" by the visitors, reported Latvian Radio Sunday. 

The heavy doors of the museum open and close constantly. Exhausted employees hand out brochures about the museum and explain what's there.

A newlywed couple has come to see museum, now in a unique state as there are no paintings on the walls yet. "We really liked how it looks in the pictures, so we thought we'd come," said Juta, still in her wedding dress.

Foreigners are in attendance as well. Jurgita, a Lithuanian, whose compatriots the architectural firm Processoffice designed the renovation, said that "It's very nice that Lithuanians have worked at this. We like it here. We came to attend an event in Rīga, and we were invited to come here. Beautiful!"

Though some criticize several aspects - like the concrete walls by the elevator, or the new stairs to the third story - of the new museum, positive emotions prevail.

The restoration cost €29m, of which €16m came from Riga City Council and €13m from EU funds. 

The general public can see the new temple of art during special 'open door days' to held 12-16 December. Afterwards, it closes until May when a new exhibit will be unveiled.

"Some of the first visitors" - reads a tweet by the museum.

One user on Twitter took a photo of the Nativity Cathedral, as seen through an oval window at the museum.

While writer Nils Sakss pokes fun at the new logo of the museum - "The building was restored sumptuously and luxuriously, like Versailles, but the logo was ordered from hipsters, like the Kaņepe Culture Center."


 

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