On 11 August, Culture Minister Dace Melbārde introduced the Cabinet to the Ministry of Culture’s informative report “On the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s Construction Project” and received the Government’s backing for the further development of the museum.
On 30 October 2014, the Ministry of Culture (MoC) and the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art signed a memorandum of intent regarding the implementation of the vision for the construction of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMCA).
Discussions about the need for a contemporary art museum in Latvia have been ongoing since 2004; the establishment of such a museum is envisaged in Latvia’s strategic cultural policy documents and in the Action Plan set out in Laimdota Straujuma’s Governmental Declaration. The implementation of the LMCA construction project has been postponed several times due to insufficient governmental funding.
The concluded memorandum of intent envisages that the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will implement the construction of LMCA, providing the necessary financing in the amount of EUR 30,000,000 and attracting donations, thus making it possible to save State budget funds.
Culture Minister Dace Melbārde has expressed the hope that LMCA will be a place for innovations and experiments, as well as a significant foothold for emerging artists, the accessibility of whose works in Latvia is currently being stifled by a lack of corresponding infrastructure. “It will be a stimulus for the development of contemporary art processes in Latvia, an initiative which is already being actively supported by the founders of the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art: the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation and the ABLV Charitable Foundation in facilitating the accessibility of contemporary art to the general public,” emphasised the Minister.
The Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will oversee the preparatory works for the construction of LMCA, announcing sketch and technical project competitions in accordance with competitive procedures, as well as the process of the construction of the museum building, the establishment of corresponding infrastructure, the layout of the building, the positioning of the collection and making it accessible to the general public after the completion of construction works and the opening of the museum.
After the opening, it is planned to organise the operation of LMCA in accordance with the operating principles of a private accredited museum, envisaging that it can aspire to the allocation of State budget funds for maintaining, preserving and restoring the items and collections in the National Museum Collection, in a manner equivalent to that in which this can be done by any other accredited museum, in accordance with the Republic of Latvia’s Museums Law.
The location chosen for LMCA is the “New Hanza City” territory in Riga with a planned total area of up to 10 000m², including the largest art exhibition hall in the Baltics.
In 2018 when the centenary of the Latvian State will be celebrated, it is planned to lay the museum’s foundation stone, while the opening of the museum, concluding Latvia’s centenary programme, is expected to take place in 2021.
In the autumn of 2015, it is planned to introduce the general public to the LMCA concept, which is being devised by a specially established commission of experts. After the concept has been approved, work will begin on an architectural sketch competition, which is due to be completed by 1 May 2016.