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Baltic Way exhibit now open

  • 2009-08-11
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
RIGA- In preparation for the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Way on August 23, the Latvian Foreign Ministry has unveiled a new exhibit.

The Foreign Ministry Secretary ofState, Andris Teikmanis, at the opening of the touring exhibition The Baltic Way thatmoved the world in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted thesignificance of the Baltic Waycampaign of 23 August 1989. Teikmanis noted that the Baltic Way linked two million people whojoined hands to form a human chain through Estonia,Latvia and Lithuania, thusdemonstrating their invincible determination to reestablish independence.

"There have been attempts toimitate a human chain of this kind, but, nevertheless, the Baltic Way is unique and as such willremain in our memories for ever," Teikmanis stressed. The Secretary ofState also expressed gratification over the inclusion of the documentaryheritage reflecting the Baltic Waycampaign in the UNESCO program The Memory of the World Register thattook place on 30 July.

 Secretary General of the UNESCO NationalCommission of Latvia, Dagnija Baltina accentuated that "the inscription ofthe documentary heritage in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register is asignificant occurrence as this nomination characterises us as a unified Balticregion, provides international recognition, which is important for Latvia'scollective memory, as well as raises the profile of the Baltic states on theglobal scale".

Jānis Skapars - Chairman of the Popular Front ofLatvia (1989-1990) - noted that the Baltic states' road to independence andrestoration of freedom is a unique phenomenon in the world history: "TheBaltic Way was a course of non-violent strategy, and in a unique anddistinctive manner we won our freedom which was possible only because all threeBaltic states joined their efforts."

This unique historic event has beenreflected in a display of 40 photographs and photo collages, and as thephotographer and curator of the exhibition, Ilmars Znotins admitted, whenselecting photographs he "endeavored to recreate the emotional experienceof the Baltic Way's participants who displayed great personal courage bystanding in the human chain and being unaware of what would happen later".

All speakers encouraged to keep the spirit ofunity alive and expressed hope that the exhibition would be a good beginningfor other stories about "the Baltic Way that moved the world".

The touring exhibition was created owing to theDirector of the Foreign Ministry Information and Public Relations department,Elita Gavele, First Secretary of the Press and Public Relations Division, VitaTimmermane-Moora, photographer Ilmars Znotins as well as to those whocontributed photographs from their personal archives.

Until 25 August, the exhibition TheBaltic Waythat moved the world will be displayed in the lobby of the Foreign Ministrybuilding; later it will be moved to Paris andpresented in the Senate of France, at the events organized the Embassies of theBaltic States, and in Le Pont Neuf artgallery. After that, it will be shown in Londonand Stockholm.