Piece of Baltic history returned to Latvia

A small piece of Baltic history returned to Latvian shores June 26 when an inscribed piece of amber, originally given by Latvian Prime Minister and later President Kārlis Ulmanis to a British military officer, was handed back by the officer's descendants.

The gift was originally given by Ulmanis to Major Austin Henry Keenan in recognition of his efforts in support of Latvian independence in 1919, when Ulmanis' government was temporarily installed on the British warship "Saratov" moored off Liepāja. Keenan was head of the British military mission.

"This amber has been in our family as long as I can remember... the amber always stood in a special box on the shelf in my mother's living room,” said Helen Currell, one of two granddaughters of Major Keenan who attended a handover ceremony alongside British ambassador to Latvia Keith Shannon.

It is planned that the inscribed amber will go on display at the Latvian War Museum. 

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