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THE GUARDIAN The Observer- 1st janvier 2017 UK

Architecture

Chilly times for a monum

Estonia makes its mark with a museum designed by a multinational team on a former Rowan Moore @RowanMoore

Estonian National Museum Tartu, Estonia

It is unusual to put a museum at the end of a runway, still more if it also straddles a chain of ornamental lakes, but then the Estonian National Museum is not a usual sort of institution. Its past is wrapped up with that of the country itself. Now it somehow has to represent the complex and precarious history of Estonia, in a fraught present, with a combination of pride and sensitivity. For a European country to build a national museum at this moment, when nationalism is taking new and unpredictable forms, is perilous. If Russia were to invent such a thing now, it would look like another form of aggressive aggrandisement; if Britain, an episode of querulous post-Brexit blue-passport patriotism; if Germany, it would raise issues too agonising for a single museum to handle. Estonia, a country of 1.3 million, whose two periods of independence – between the wars and since 1991 – add up to less than 50 years, and which still has grounds to be nervous of its neighbour Russia, has reason to define and assert itself with a museum, but it also has to tread cautiously. The idea of a national museum has been linked to the idea of Estonian independence for more than a century, ever since a group of nationalistminded intellectuals decided to create such a thing. Since then the fluctuating fortunes of independence, war and

It’s a country of 1.3 million whose two periods of independence add up to less than 50 years occupation have caused the collections to be housed in different places, to be dispersed and reassembled. Under

Dan dorell presse musée estonie 160117sd  

Estonian National Museum by Dan DORELL DGT - Dorell Ghotmeh Tane / Architects

Dan dorell presse musée estonie 160117sd  

Estonian National Museum by Dan DORELL DGT - Dorell Ghotmeh Tane / Architects

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