Former owners of Riga Circus score big compensation

The Administrative District Court on Wednesday satisfied the claim of the former owners of the Riga Circus building, Sarmite Bivina and Biruta Kreile, for compensation worth €1,015,549, the LETA newswire learned from the court.

The Latvian government in August 2017 approved the compensation calculated by the Culture Ministry at €297,765.

As the circus building, built in 1888, was declared a cultural monument of national importance, it was not returned to the heirs of its former owners when other nationalized properties were returned to their rightful owners after restoration of Latvia's independence in the early 1990s. Instead the court recognized the title of the Latvian state to the property and ruled that a compensation should be paid to the former owners.

The Culture Ministry calculated the compensation based on the value of the property in 1995 when the law declaring the Riga Circus a cultural monument of national importance was adopted. But the former owners insisted that the size of the compensation should be based on current value of the property and want the state to pay them over €1 million. They started a litigation in order to get a larger compensation.

The decision can be appealed at the Administrative Regional Court in a month.

Culture Ministry’s spokeswoman Lita Kokale told LETA that the ministry will get acquainted wit the court ruling and will consider a possibility to appeal it.

One of the latest developments in relation to the current circus is that starting this year it can no longer use wild animals in performances. 

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