The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
Committee of Experts has Been Formed
December 17, 2014
The Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art have agreed on the members of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Expert Committee. The Committee is made up of representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the founders of the Foundation - the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation. The first meeting of the committee, that was also attended by the Minister of Culture, Dace Melbārde and the Chairman of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Ernests Bernis, to agree on a schedule of activities for 2015, took place on the 18th of December.
During the following year, the Expert Committee will prepare the guidelines for the concept of the museum and make recommendations for a curator of the architectural competition with whom the detailed specifications of the architectural competition will be worked out, as well as proposals for the makeup of the competition jury, which will be submitted for approval to the foundation’s board.
“The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Expert Committee faces a huge task ahead of it – the development of the museum’s concept which will require a great deal of time, energy, selflessness and knowledge of both contemporary art as well as museum operations. That is why today, wishing the committee success and endurance, I would like to thank them for their willingness to rise to the challenge. 21st century Latvia needs 21st century symbols. I am convinced that The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art has every chance to become such a new symbol, a value, to be handed down to future generations,” said Dace Melbārde, the Minister of Culture.
Addressing the experts, the Chairman of the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, Ernests Bernis said: “We have the unique opportunity to create a museum from a blank sheet of paper, inspired by the history of its location and examples of the world’s best museums. The most important thing is to develop the museum step-by-step.” He also added that alongside the architectural competition, ABLV will commission a concept for the landscape of the surrounding park in order to ensure a holistic environment for the museum.
“It’s symbolic that the first and all future expert committee meetings will take place in the New Hanza City territory, the location of the future Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. The spirit of the museum is already palpable, and later we will see the building construction process,” observed the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, Romans Surnačovs.
The Latvian Ministry of Culture will be represented by the architect Jānis Dripe, the Director of the Latvian Museum of Art, Māra Lāce, and the painter and founder of Dd Studio Jānis Mitrēvics. The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation’s representatives are the art historian and Curator of the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation’s programme Art in the Public Space, Helēna Demakova and the Director of the Tête-à-tête festival Elīna Vikmane. The experts who will work on behalf of the ABLV Charitable Foundation are the Chairman of the Board of the ABLV Charitable Foundation Zanda Zilgalve and the art historian and the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art's consultant, Kaspars Vanags.
On the 30th of October 2014, The Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, founded by the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation - signed a memorandum of understanding about the building of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. The impetus for the signing of the memorandum of understanding comes from the successful and long term collaboration between The Ministry of Culture, the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation as prominent patrons in the field of contemporary art in Latvia, and ABLV Bank as the main supporter of the development of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection, based on the co-operation agreement signed on the 23rd of September 2005.
Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, undertakes to ensure: the construction of the museum, its operation as a museum, its management and development (including the development, maintenance and growth of the collection), by applying their own, as well as other public and private financial resources that they intend to attract, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, by the 18th of November, 2021. The Museum will be open and accessible to the general public. The founders of the Foundation intend to secure the necessary funding of 30 million euros for the project.
The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be located in the territory of the New Hanza City (NHC). NHC is a development of the former Riga Cargo Rail Terminal in the area bordered by Hanza, Pulkveža Brieža, Skanstes and Sporta streets. NHC covers an area of 24.5 hectares that will house a number of office buildings, including the headquarters of the ABLV Bank, a hotel, a conference centre, upmarket housing, a pre-school educational centre, as well as a large green parkland area offering leisure and recreation facilities in the centre of the development.
Development of the Project
Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will provide for: the preparation of the building site in readiness for construction, the design and building construction competitions by public tender, management of the construction of the museum building, the construction of the necessary infrastructure, the outfitting of the museum, the housing and hanging of the collection, and ensuring the accessibility of the museum to the general public after completion of the construction and the opening of the museum. The Foundation will appoint a number of expert committees to oversee the concept of the museum as well as the procedures necessary for the building construction process. After the hand-over of the completed building and its opening to the public, the Foundation will also care for its operation, management and development, including the up-keep of the collection and its development pursuant to the needs of the museum. The operation of the museum after its hand-over will be organized in accordance with the LR Law on Museums as well as the operation guidelines for the workings of a private accredited museum, ensuring access to the museum for the community and inclusion of the museum’s collection in the National Museums’ shared catalogue.
Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 2014 by the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation and the ABLV Charitable Foundation with the goal of building the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, ensuring the operation of the museum, its management and development, including the creation, maintenance and development of the museum’s collection and accessibility to the museum for the general public, utilising the founders’ financial resources in partnership with the government of Latvia and the Ministry of Culture. The intention is to realise the museum project, and for it to be operational and ready for visitors by the 18th of November 2021.
The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation
In 2010, the philanthropists Boris and Inara Teterev founded a family charity foundation in order to support exceptional initiatives that are useful to the community and to promote the development of culture, art and education in Latvia and internationally. In 2013, the Foundation supported 170 charity initiatives throughout Latvia that have benefited at least 150 000 inhabitants. In 2011, Boris and Inara Teterev received the Order of the Three Stars, and a year later, were named Riga’s citizens of the year. In 2013, the Foundation created an annual festival called Tête-à-tête, and an art programme - Art in the Public Space.
ABLV Charitable Foundation
A corporate charity foundation with a goal of promoting the responsibility of business and society to its fellow citizens and the environment was founded in 2006 by Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs. Since its establishement, its focus has been on contemporary art, children and young people and the development of education and the city environment. In the eight years since its founding, the ABLV Charitable Foundation has attracted 4,3 million euros in gifts and donations, mainly from the ABLV Bank, its staff, clients and co-operation partners having invested more than 1 million euros in charities, including the active development of contemporary art over a long period.
The ABLV Bank collection for the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
In 2005, on signing a co-operation agreement with the Ministry of Culture, the bank (known at the time as Aizkraukles banka) became the main supporter of the single most important project of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art and envisaged that by 2021, it would dedicate 1 million lats to this goal. The agreement stipulated that the bank would develop the collection and ensure its maintenance and upkeep. In 2005, an International Committee of Experts of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art for the selection of artworks for the collection was created. At present, the collection has 204 artworks by 31 artists, valued at 720 000 Euros.