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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonian museums have an important role to play in preserving our cultural heritage and for thinking of the future


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasized the value and contribution of museums in preserving cultural heritage at the European Museum Forum Annual Assembly in Tallinn. “During the current complicated era, memory institutions have a completely different meaning and their role is invaluable. On the one hand, museums help us to remember the past, and on the other, guide us further from this experience, to think about the future,” Paet added.

Paet stated that the understanding of the role of museums has changed significantly over the years. “Not so long ago, museums were the backbone of our identity, both on the national and community level, assembling together priceless pieces of the past,” Paet said. “In recent decades however, the breadth of museum activities has greatly expanded to include a closer dialogue with visitors and society and by providing a range of educational programs,” the Foreign Minister said, emphasising the role of museums in raising important issues for society.

According to Paet, cultural memory has always carried an important role within Estonian cultural traditions. “Culture helps nations get to know each other better and also to get closer, thereby creating better opportunities for cooperation in other areas of life,” he added.

May 18 marks the 36th consecutive year that International Museum Day has been celebrated. Estonia is celebrating Museum Day with its traditional Museum Night on May 17. The theme uniting the local museums this year is “Stars in the Night.”

The European Museum Forum Annual Assembly (EMF) and the European Museum of the Year Award Ceremony 2014 (EMYA) will take place during May 14-17. During the event, the best museums in Europe will be introduced and on May 17 the European Museum of the Year Award will be presented at the formal ceremony. The EMF has presented the award for best museum since 1977 and both new and renovated museums can be nominated. In 2008, KUMU, the Art Museum of Estonia received the honour of Museum of the Year. One of this year’s nominees is the Estonian Maritime Museum's Seaplane Harbour. Additional information:

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