Estonian History Museum under renovation
Archived Articles 26 Apr 2009  EWR
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The reconstruction of the Great Guild Hall of the Estonian History Museum will be completed by the year 2011, also the new permanent collection will be set up in the museum. The museum takes the rooms of the basement of the Guild Hall into use as exhibition halls and creates the new permanent collection in the building of the Great Guild which involves the whole history of Estonia and enables the interactive studies.

The permanent collection of the Estonian History Museum has currently been divided into two and the public gets no integral overview of the Estonian history without visiting the Great Guild Hall and Castle of Maarjamäe. “The location of the Great Guild Hall in Tallinn Old City is favourable, but currently the advantage resulting from the location will remain fully unused, as not all halls of the building can be opened for the visitors. This sets restrictions for the display and the building has no location suitable for the implementation of the museum programmes,” Monica Hankov, the Director of Business Environment Division of Enterprise Estonia, said.

The museum needed the basement of the Great Guild Hall for a long time as the fund storage of the museum. Today the suitable rooms have been found for the funds in Maarjamäe complex and the dominant part of the funds have been moved there already.

The opening of the basement for the public also solves the domestic problems. For example the visitors of the Great Guild could have been using only one toilet room and this has set restrictions also for the organisation of the representation events in the dignified building. Also, the unique attic of the Guild Hall is worth displaying, the visiting of which is currently impossible due to the poor condition.

In addition to the display areas in the inner rooms of the Great Guild Hall, Börsi passageway and the inner yard attached to the Great Guild Hall have so far waited for the appropriate application. The way connecting Börsi passageway and Pikk and Lai streets is actively used by the citizens as well as the tourists, but currently its relation to the Estonian History Museum remains unnoticed. In the course of renewal the exciting facts and stories of history can be brought to the people crossing Börsi passageway. The inner yard of the Great Guild Hall is well suitable for creating the outdoor display and also for the organisation of events.

“The renewed building of Great Guild surely strengthens the reputation of Tallinn as the destination of culture tourism by being of interest for the seekers of unique and educating visiting experience. Also, the attractive services of cultural institutions also bring more clients for the private enterprises,” Monica Hankov said. The Estonian History Museum requires to double the number of visitors in 2012, a year after opening, i.e. increase their number to 80 000, including 50% from abroad and at least 20% as repeated visitors.

The renewal of the Great Guild Hall and the updating of the collection will cost approximately 53 million kroons, of which about 45 million is covered by the regional competitiveness improvement grant of Enterprise Estonia. The support programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Enterprise Estonia started the receipt of applications for the regional competitiveness improvement programme in December 2007. More than 13 billion kroons of over 53 billion kroon structural assistance for Estonia of 2007-2013 are to be applied by Enterprise Estonia. The budget of regional competitiveness improvement programme up to the year 2013 is 1.5 billion kroons. Currently 36 projects in the total volume of 639 million kroons have been financed. The receipt of applications was stopped on 22 January 2009, as the total volume of the projects financed and the applications submitted to Enterprise Estonia exceeded 929 million kroons set for the period of 2007-2013. The programme will be reopened in the second half of the year.

The objective of the regional competitiveness improvement programme is to make the different regions of Estonia more attractive for the entrepreneurs, investors, qualified labour and visitors. The local governments and non-profit organisations can apply for the support from the programme for the implementation of the projects promoting local tourism and recreation industry. The applications for the development of visiting centres, museums, hiking and study tracks and small ports, exposure of cultural and natural values and development of support infrastructure of tourism objects are expected. The local governments can also develop the local business environment infrastructure with the support of this programme, e.g. establish access roads, renovate sewerage systems and take former military, industrial and agricultural objects into use.
23 April 2009

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