Tukums Municipality to unveil a monument to Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics as a gift to Latvia on its 100th anniversary
In honour of the country’s 100th anniversary, a monument to Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics will be unveiled in the Old Town of Tukums. With this, the government of Tukums Municipality demonstrates its pride in Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics’, one of the founders of Latvia, connection to the city and municipality.
The first Foreign Minister of the Republic of Latvia, delegate of the Constitutional Assembly and recurring Prime Minister, were all political offices of Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics from 1918 until his death in August 1925. Meierovics is the only one of the three founding fathers of Latvia (Kārlis Ulmanis, Jānis Čakste and Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics) who still doesn’t have a proper memorial, despite his admirable achievements and general recognition among the people.
After World War I, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics managed to do something that few in a conflicting Europe would have believed. In 1918 Latvia was recognised de facto, which was followed by another foreign policy success in 1921 – the international de jure recognition of Latvia and membership in the League of Nations. Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics’s life was short but extraordinary. His personality, efforts and contribution to Latvia are a tribute to the values that no nation or country can be without – self-confidence, loyalty to the country’s ideals and selfless work, which helps bring these ideals to life.
Brizule Manor and Rideļi in Tukums Municipality is where our first Foreign Minister originally came from. Meierovics spent his childhood in Durbe, Pūre and Cērkste, receiving his first education in Kabile and Tukums City School. In his later life, the politician frequently returned to Tukums. Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics passed away during his last journey to the Druķi estate in Brizule.
The location chosen for the monument is symbolic. It is in the Old Town, the very heart of the city, near Freedom Square and the school that this outstanding politician once attended – in the square by the junction of Lielā Street and Jaunā Street. The idea of the monument, which will be unveiled in November 2018, arose due to the reconstruction and improvement of the entire square. In future this place may serve not only as a memorial of an excellent and significant individual, but also as a place where the citizens of Tukums Municipality can gather on national holidays, thus strengthening national identity.
A design competition was held to inspire a monument to Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics that would have a contemporary feel, be evocative and deeply meaningful. The design concept of high artistic merit created by sculptors Zane Elerte and Matīss Kalniņš and architect Liene Līce was selected as best representing these qualities.
A close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia was established in the course of the project.
Through this project, we pay homage to a distinguished Latvian statesman. A memorial to Meierovics as part of the urban public space will indelibly bond his name with that of Tukums. This landmark monument will have a lasting value for future generations – enriching the social and cultural environment of Tukums, enhancing the image of both the town and the region , and fostering people’s pride in their country, municipality and town.