‘RĪGA' signs lose heart, regain proper spelling

The Rīga municipal Traffic department has removed the so-called decorative hearts from the welcome roadside signs along the entrance to the city’s highway borders Thursday, restoring the artist’s original diacritical “long vowel” signs back to perfect spelling and author’s intent.

As reported, at the beginning of May the great white letters were changed from their accustomed 34-year appearance to sport a blue-and-white heart in place of the mark above the long ‘ī’.

Besides the uproar over the questionable aesthetic value of the sign, let alone its violation of the official state language law, many forgot to mention the blatant disregard for author Valdis Celms’ copyright on the artwork, whose original intent was clearly transgressed.

Meanwhile mayor Nils Ušakovs called the scandal a good marketing move and said the city would refuse to pay the State Language Center’s fine.

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