Three new concert halls are being built in the the regional cities of Cēsis, Liepāja and Rēzekne and in 2013, The Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre was opened.
Delays in heritage reconstruction have led to a number of major cultural institutions being closed during the European Capital of Culture in 2014.
Following the economic crisis, stabilisation has started in different fields, including financing for culture, cultural consumption and spending on culture.
4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities
In 2014, Riga, with its official partner Sigulda, is European Capital of Culture. Force Majeure is the bold theme of Riga's year under the EU's cultural spotlight. The central message of the programme is that culture is a force for positive change – an extraordinary energy with the power to transform a city, perception, life. Focus on European cultural diversity will continue in 2015, when Latvia will take over Presidency of the European Union.
The most active public debates have been on the topic of the new cultural infrastructure projects (see chapter 4.3). Building of the Latvian National Library (started in 2008 and opened in 2014) is constantly a topic of public debate. Investments in other fields are continuing thanks to the support of the EU Structural funds (see chapter 4.2.8 and chapter 8.4.2). There are several new cultural buildings outside the capital city constructed in recent years. In 2013, in Rezekne, a multifunctional concert-hall was opened (in the Eastern part of Latvia). In 2014, a similar concert-hall has been opened in Cesis, in the Vidzeme region. In the western part of Latvia, in Liepaja, a concert-hall is planned to be opened in 2015.
Also, numerous cultural heritage buildings are under reconstruction. The delay in reconstruction has been criticised because several major cultural institutions (such as the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991, The Museum of Literature and Music, New Riga Theatre) are closed for reconstruction during the year 2014 when Riga is implementing the European Capital of Culture programme. Meanwhile, the new Museum of Art "Riga Bourse" was opened in 2011 following reconstruction.
Riga Castle, which was the Residence of the President and also hosted several museums, was under reconstruction when fire broke out in 2013. It is estimated that around 3 200 square metres of the castle were destroyed.
After the end of the economic crisis that was particularly severe in 2008-2010, stabilisation has started in different fields, including public financing for culture, cultural consumption and spending for culture.
Chapter published: 08-10-2014