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A special law will be drafted to protect the Tetera House


"A special law will be drafted for the protection and restoration of the Tetera House at 61 Brīvības Street, Riga. In parallel, SJSC “State Real Estate” (SRE) will submit a request to the State Construction Control Bureau to consider the possibility to extend the deadline for urgent construction works for the period of the drafting of the law," informs Andris Vārna, Member of the Board of SJSC “State Real Estate”.

Since 2021, SRE has been asking for a decision to be made regarding the use of the entire Tetera House in order to maintain the operation of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia at 61 Brīvības Street, Riga. The Coalition's decision provides clarity on the future of the House: it must be preserved by the public administration and a special law will determine the protection, conditions and sources of funding for the restoration of the Tetera House.

"The decision will not bring the necessary solutions tomorrow, but it will provide long-term solutions and essentially resolve the issues of the future development of the building. In order to ensure that the museum remains in the Tetera House, we will ask the State Construction Control Bureau to grant an extension for the urgent works. At the same time, security risks will be regularly assessed to ensure the safety of museum staff and visitors. If necessary, alternative ways will be sought to raise the necessary funding to cover the costs of urgent repairs, says A. Vārna

As a state capital company, SRE is responsible for the sustainable management and development of the properties under its management, provided that the property has a user who can bear the costs associated with the management of the property. Most of the time, properties without any substance are put up for disposal, such as the former Īle sanatorium, the auction of which is planned for March 2023. In accordance with the Law on the Alienation SRE will be able to invest the funds obtained through the auction in the management and development of other state immovable property, unless it is owned by a capital company.

The capital company has developed a construction intention for the necessary emergency works at the Tetera House. The project includes the prevention of arbitrary construction – the shelter – and restoration of the inner courtyard covering, which would provide an opportunity to continue the operation of the building and the use of the museum premises until 7 May 2024. The estimated cost of the work to be carried out is at least € 300 000.

It has already been reported that the hazard identified by the State Fire and Rescue Service in the Tetera House must be eliminated by 7 May 2024. The implementation of these works requires at least EUR 400,000. The hazard is related to the automated fire detecting and emergency alarm system. The funding would allow fixing of the internal fire water system and electrical installation, as well as sealing of the leaky areas in fireproof constructions. However, at least 14 million euro is required to fully operate the building and preserve its cultural and historical values, which will ensure its full restoration and bring it back to life.

In 2020, the National Cultural Heritage Board granted the building the status of a historic site, but this decision does not resolve the issue of the economic use of the building and the source of funding for restoring the building. At the end of the same year, SRE received objections from the sectoral ministry regarding holding an auction of the House, therefore a decision was made to stop the sale of the building. Property maintenance, expenses for current repairs and capital investments since 2014 exceeds EUR 550 000. In 2021, the losses of SRE for the maintenance of the property alone reached EUR 69 600, while in 2022 – around EUR 54 000.