90% of Latvian residents believe Latvia’s monuments are not properly protected

No. 8 on Alberta Street, Riga, Latvia.
No. 8 on Alberta Street, Riga, Latvia. Image: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra Wikimedia CC BY SA 2.0

This was a finding from the data collected in a survey conducted by Norstat Latvia.  87% believe buildings declared as cultural monuments generate added value for Latvia.

The survey showed that 69% of the respondents believed that it is the responsibility of the cultural ministry to conserve cultural heritage monuments in Riga. 25% believed that it was the responsibility of Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry. And about 7% believe that it was the responsibility of the apartment tenants and only 5% believed that it was the responsibility of the President.

The story of building 9 on Alberta street in Riga, known for Art Nouveau buildings makes for a good example to understand people’s sentiment. Ojārs Spārītis, an art expert held that constructing a modern elevator in the space of the staircase destroys the heritage value of the building’s interior. It is also can only access the first floor of the building, is too small for a wheelchair making it impractical and has made the building structurally unsafe.

The Alberta Street is considered one of the most artistically important streets in Riga and is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. But turns out that the building is not a protected monument.

In which heritage precinct would you like to take a walk? Write down in the comment section below and tell us why!

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