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Private collections in Riga can be made available for public viewing, Source: Riga Municipality

Riga encourages the creation of private museums

Riga encourages the creation of private museums

For the first time there, financial backing is forthcoming

The Riga City Council Education, Culture and Sports Department (RD IKSD) announced today that, for the first time in its history, it plans to provide financial support to private museum establishments in the Latvian capital. This is part of a funding competition that the authorities have organized in order to stimulate cultural entrepreneurship in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Encouraging private initiative among the collectors

The move aims to encourage private collectors and entrepreneurs to consider establishing a private museum and enrich the availability and offer of such institutions in Riga. Funding will be available for projects until the end of the year.

In accordance with the regulations, the competition commission evaluated the applications of eight applicants and decided to grant co-financing to the 1991 Barricade Museum, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, the Retro Car Museum, the Museum and Research Center of Latvians in the World, the Latvian Museum of Naive Art, the Ziedonis Museum, the Jean Lipke Memorial and the "Jews in Latvia" Museum. A total of 10 applications were received, two of which were declared ineligible by the selection board.

Co-financing to support accredited private museums will enhance the capacity of these institutions in the difficult post-pandemic environment and facilitate the development and availability of new educational programs in Riga,” explained Iveta Ratinīka, a member of the competition commission and chairwoman of the Education, Culture and Sports Committee of the Riga City Council.

She added: “At the same time, it is a way to encourage private museums to grow, improve and seek new technical and methodological solutions. It is gratifying that several high-quality applications have been submitted and various new, meaningful classes, exhibitions and events await us, especially students”.

The competition was open to legal entities, non-governmental organizations and private companies operating in Riga, with the aim of promoting the development of significant private museums in accordance with the Riga Sustainable Development Strategy until 2030.

Private museums, much like public ones, are important magnets for tourism and catalysts for the cultural vivacity of a city. Although they often don’t dispose with necessary qualified staff and cannot be used as research reference points, they help to make private collections available for viewing. They also tend to focus on quirkier, overlooked or more marginal objects and experiences of human existence. As such, they enrich the tourism offer of a city with their uniqueness.

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