TALLINN - The Estonian Ministry of Culture submitted an application to the Ministry of Finance this week, aiming to redirect a 3.3-million-euro investment grant from Tallinn Art Hall towards the renovation of the Estonian National Library, Postimees reports.
In August, Finance Minister Mart Vorklaev had suggested that the Ministry of Culture source the missing funds for the renovation of the National Library and Tallinn Art Hall from the budget of the Cultural Endowment. However, the Ministry of Culture has now chosen to prioritize the National Library over Tallinn Art Hall.
"It's clear that the construction of the Estonian National Library needs to be completed; leaving it unfinished would be imprudent. In addition to the previously allocated 76.2 million euros, an extra 10 million euros is required to finish the construction. On top of this, there are additional costs for furnishing the library," Culture Minister Heidy Purga said.
In 2020, the government decided to support the renovation of Tallinn Art Hall with 6.54 million euros. Out of this amount, 2.74 million euros have been used by Tallinn Art Hall for essential initial works, according to Purga.
"The country is facing financial constraints, therefore tough decisions need to be made. The renovation of Tallinn Art Hall remains a priority, and we will continue to seek funding opportunities for it," she said.
The Estonian National Library building in Tonismagi has been under reconstruction since the start of 2022 and, as per current plans, is set to reopen in 2026. The construction quality of the building, built in the late 1980s, has posed challenges for the renovation process, leading to multiple cost overruns.
Although the initial estimate for the National Library's renovation was 53.2 million euros, which was supposed to include the costs of furnishings and IT solutions, the total expenditure required for its completion is now estimated to reach 91 million euros.