TALLINN – The Estonian government at a sitting on Thursday approved an order to allocate three million euros from the government's ownership reform reserve fund to the Ministry of Culture for the maintenance, repair, conservation and restoration of architectural monuments returned during the ownership reform.
Namely, as a result of Soviet repressions, objects important from the point of view of national culture, such as churches, farms and community centers, which were already under heritage protection at the time or were recognized as architectural monuments during the Soviet period or in reindependent Estonia, were expropriated from their owners in the 1940s, government spokespeople said.
Illegally expropriated buildings were returned to the former owners or their legal successors during the ownership reform. The owners have not been able to consistently manage these buildings and maintain them in a prudent manner, which is why the restoration of these objects currently requires significant financial resources from the owners.
In order to allocate support, the National Heritage Board will conduct an open application round. Support for a building can be applied for by the owner or possessor of the monument and the monument does not have to belong to the person to whom the object was returned.