On 13 June 2018, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs took part in laying the cornerstone for the monument to Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics (1887-1925) in the town of Tukums.
Together with Ēriks Lukmans, Chairman of the Tukums Municipality Council, poetess Māra Zālīte and local residents, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs buried a time capsule with a message for future generations at the foundations stone for the monument.
“Ahead of Latvia’s centenary, we reminisce on those who achieved the establishment and international recognition of our state. We appreciate their clarity of purpose, courage and tenacity, due to which we now have our own state, our Latvia. Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics is one of the most remarkable personalities among its founders. With his work, ideas and dynamic personality, Latvia’s first foreign minister had laid a solid foundation for the present and the future. He proved that ideals can be attained if one pursues them tirelessly. By this monument, we honour the memory of a person who is important on the national scale. By paying tribute to Meierovics in Tukums, we are highlighting the distinguished statesman’s link with this region in order to inspire the local community and foster their pride in their country, region and town,” reads the message.
In his remarks, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics had made the dream of a Latvian state come true: “For the newly-established state to function at its fullest, Meierovics achieved its de iure recognition and admission to the League of Nations, which was the world’s most serious international organisation of the time. Thus, from the very inception of our state, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics put Latvia on the map of Europe. With Latvia being a full-fledged member of the European Union and NATO, the ideals that Meierovics strived for remain alive today. This day has a two-fold historic significance: this is the first memorial to a Latvian diplomat in Latvia, and the interring of the time capsule precedes installation of a monument to our first foreign minister and a true patriot of Latvia.”
The place chosen for the monument to Meierovics is symbolic. It is located in a square in the very heart of Tukums, its Old Town, not far from the Brīvības (Freedom) Square and the school that the notable statesman once attended.
A contest was held to identify a design with a contemporary feel, expressive and meaningful. As the result, the submission selected was the one by sculptors Zane Elerte, Matīss Kalniņš and architect Liene Līce.
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