The Missing Evidence of Time in the Exposition of Riga History

News - April 24, 2013

The new exhibition “Riga at the Crossroads of 18th Century Europe” opened at the Riga History and Navigation Museum on 24 April, with the financial support of Baltic International Bank. The museum had been lacking exhibits of this particularly period - when Riga was conquered by Russia after the Great Northern War in 1710 and became one of the major cities in the empire.

“Riga at the Crossroads of 18th Century Europe” is a long-term exhibition on display for 10 years. It tells about Riga at that time in an attractive manner and shows the development of Riga in the context of Russia and the history of Europe. The concept of Riga’s cultural environment and its spirit is created by authentic exhibits with great artistic, historic and memorial value. This exposition displays over 850 exhibits – guns, handicraft, symbols of power, engravings, paintings, maps, documents, etc.

This exhibition helps people of different nationalities to realize their belonging to Riga, thus promoting the process of integration in our contemporary city. This exhibition is also a great gift to the city guests visiting us in 2014, when Riga will have the honour to be the European Capital of Culture, and in 2015 during Latvia’s presidency of the EU Council.

The exhibition hall – the Column Hall – has become the gorgeous décor of the museum after renovation, and one of the greatest objects of 18th century architecture in Riga. The hall was built by Christoph Haberland, the first architect of Riga. On the wall is a painting dedicated to Peter I, the tsar of Russia, created in honour of Riga’s annexation to Russia in 1710. The ceiling is decorated by a moulding in the shape of Roman goddess Minerva, dedicated to Catherine II. The hall in classicism style reflects the demonstrated period in chronological order – 18th century history of Riga.

Baltic International Bank is the traditional sponsor of cultural and artistic events that facilitate the interaction of different cultures, and the mutual understanding of people with different nationalities.  The bank is the major sponsor of the exhibition. “Riga is a unique city with a special, multicultural environment on a historical background where signs of different ages naturally coincide. This year, upon celebrating the 20th anniversary of Baltic International Bank, we have decided to present 18th century Riga to every citizen and city guest to provide new impressions and understanding of the various periods of Riga’s historical development. We hope that every inhabitant of Riga after visiting the museum will be even prouder to be living in this city, and that the city’s guests will have a better knowledge of the events that shaped the development of Riga. I am certain that this feeling will urge people to return here again and again,” says Ilona Gulchaka, the Chairman of the Board of Baltic International Bank.

Last year a collection of poems by Aleksandrs Chaks was published in the Ukrainian language with the support of Baltic International Bank. The bank has also sponsored the significant cultural event of Latvia “Sodums. Ulysses. A Man's Journey” – a multipurpose environment art and literary work based on the archive of Latvian writer and translator Dzintars Sodums, which was established by writer Nora Ikstena and Valeri Belokon, the founder and biggest shareholder of Baltic International Bank. In 2010 the bank sponsored the return of the legendary “Aida” to the National Opera. This show became the most acclaimed event of the season.

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