The Estonian National Museum finally has a home of its own.
With the completion of this building, our debt to those individuals who cared deeply about the preservation of Estonian culture and language and who built a foundation for our independence has been repaid.
More than 100 years ago, vision and bold ideas from people like Jakob Hurt, Oskar Kallas, Villem Reiman and Jaan Tõnisson, and Kristjan Raud and Matthias Johann Eise paved Estonia's way to statehood. Alongside them stand countless legions of Estonians whose efforts to collect artefacts and folklore, much of it on a volunteer basis, helped furnish the museum with content.
The Estonian National Museum's new home is also a debt of gratitude to those who kept Estonia alive in darker, more difficult times and nurtured our hopes. In spite of the vagaries of history and others' dark designs on Estonia, we did not forsake our ideals and our determination.
This museum and these halls here in Raadi were built to honour the Estonian people and the country itself. It was built to honour our national consciousness and independence. The construction process lasted a long time, like many projects here in Estonia, but certainly the outcome is all the more distinguished and imaginative for it.
It's symbolic that we are opening the museum building in the same year that we marked the 25th anniversary of the restoration of independence. I would like to thank Tõnis Lukas, Jaanus Plaat and Krista Aru for keeping the dream of the National Museum going for all this time.
The Estonian National Museum will support us in coping, enduring and growing in the modern world. Museums have long ceased to be mere repositories for antiques. A museum is a centre for learning and progress. In the same way, every culture and language must develop if it is to last.
Today in Kadriorg, Letters of Credence were presented to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves by Ambassador of the Republic of France, Claudia Delmas-Scherer, who resides in Tallinn; Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Sultan Rashid Sultan Alkaitoob, who resides in Stockholm, and Ambassador of the State of Israel, Dov Segev-Steinberg, and Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria, Martin Ivanov Ivanov, who both reside in Helsinki.
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