A large – scale photo exhibition dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of the restoration of Latvia ‘s independence has been opened in Freedom Square Press release

August 20, 2020

The information was prepared by Dace Vizule, Public Relations Specialist of the Ministry of Culture.

On Thursday, August 20, in Brīvības Square, Riga, an exhibition of large-format photographs dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration “On the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia” was opened. The exhibition presents documentary evidence of the National Archives of Latvia, as well as the national archives of Lithuania and Estonia, which reflect the events of May 4, 1990 and the Awakening.

At the opening of the exhibition, Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis emphasized: “One hundred years ago Latvia was liberated and began to experience parliamentarism, 30 years ago there was a historic vote on the declaration of independence – live on radio, in person at the Supreme Council or on the waterfront. We counted such emotionally true and powerful togetherness and unity in song festivals and moments of historical turning – we must keep them in our hearts and in the memory of the people as an inexhaustible source of spiritual strength and inspiration for the people.

The will of our people, more than a hundred years ago and in the crucial stages of history since then, has been so great that we now take words and values ​​- independence and freedom – as self-evident as our very existence. But history and current processes in the world show that freedom is not given, it must be acquired and protected. And everyone has a significant contribution to make in this process. “

“If the May 4 vote in the Supreme Council brought the main turning point towards the restoration of Latvia’s statehood, then the August vote paved the way for the most important thing – the possibility to adopt the constitutional law on the state status of the Republic of Latvia. This law completely restored the Constitution Chairman Ināra Mūrniece. “The role of parliament is very important to me in these events. The fact that the decisive decisions were taken in a democratic way. This strengthened the legitimacy of the decision from the point of view of international law and enabled the implementation of the doctrine of state continuity.”

Māra Sprūdža, Director of the National Archives of Latvia, said: “May 4, 1990 is one of the most emotional days in the history of Latvia. Therefore, instead of traditional documents, the exhibition features photographs. Photographs that have captured this day the course of events. “

Photographer Gunārs Janaitis, who was with other members of the media in the Supreme Council meeting room at the historic moment of the debate and voting, added: “I and my esteemed fellow photographers also voted, only our votes were not counted in the official vote. “are featured in this exhibition.”

The opening of the exhibition was attended by the Speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture for the Centenary of Latvia Selga Laizāne, Director of the Latvian National Archives Māra Sprūdža, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence Aivars Endziņš, photographer Gunārs Janaitis Velta Chebotarenoka. The exhibition can be viewed in Freedom Square until August 30.

2020 marks 30 years since the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR, elected in democratic elections on May 4, 1990, adopted the declaration of the people, “On the Restoration of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia”. Thus, the Republic of Latvia is being restored, the Satversme of 1922 is partially coming into force and the transition period begins until the full restoration of the country’s independence. On August 21, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia adopted the Constitutional Law “On the State Status of the Republic of Latvia”, which proclaimed the end of the transition period and the restoration of Latvia’s statehood.

The exhibition is created by the National Archives of Latvia in cooperation with the Central State Archives of Lithuania, the National Archives of Estonia and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.

The thirtieth anniversary of the restoration of Latvia’s independence is one of the highlights of Latvia’s national centenary program in 2020, when we celebrate events that were decisive for our freedom a hundred and thirty years ago.

Find out the time of the restoration of Latvia’s independence and the events of May 4, 1990: https://lv100.lv/jaunumi/izzini-4maijs30/

Photo from the opening event (Reinis Oliņš, Latvian State Centennial Office of the Ministry of Culture): https://failiem.lv/u/ctxpkepj a https://www.flickr.com/photos/latvia100/albums/72157715560438698

Additional information:

Dace Vizule,

Public Relations Specialist of the Ministry of Culture

67330254, 29192298

[email protected]

Ilze Tormane,

Ministry of Culture

Project coordinator of the Latvian State Centennial Bureau


[email protected]


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