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Rīga Central Market mulls its future

The Central Market is one of Riga's most popular tourist attractions, and tens of thousands of local residents visit it daily. It hasn't seen a change for quite some time, and responsible bodies are thinking about how to develop it further, Latvian Television reported April 18.

Next year it will be 100 years since a central market was built by Riga Canal. It is currently the largest covered market in all of Europe, with the Central Market area totaling nearly 10 hectares. However, the area has degraded and, to give the site a fresh breath, is starting to look for the best development scenario. The last reconstruction of two pavilions of the market was 14 years ago. The previous one, 52 years ago. 

"The area is large, selling stands may no longer be necessary so much, so it will be necessary to look for some additional functions with which the city can fill the site," Agija Tiknuse, spokeswoman for LLC "Wealth. Investments", told LTV.

This means that the main current function of the market - food trade and other forms of trade - could be more efficient, taking up less space.

Baiba Beatrise Sleže, representative of "Rīgas Nami/Rīga Houses" which manages the market, said people would like to add sports and cultural events, museums and exhibition halls, as well as other trade.

"The main challenge is to revive the market area itself so that the area is not empty and unused in the evenings and afternoons," Sleže noted.

While it is currently unknown exactly what development and changes the central market expects, experts said the classic market function, or food trade, will remain.

Experts also said producing food and being able to enjoy it locally could be one of the best ways to attract people to the market. The Central market concept should be ready in about 3-4 months.

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