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Klemm, Holger

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 23/02/2006

The opening of the Estonian Museum of Art in Tallinn

Art critic Holger Klemm returned from the Estonian capital full of enthusiasm after having visited the spectacular new museum designed by Finnish architect Pekka Juhani Vapaavuori. The museum is built into a mountain slope overlooking the old part of Tallinn. "The KUMU gives this Baltic republic its first opportunity to present a comprehensive collection of national works... The roots which nourish the country's artistic identity can be easily discerned here. A large number of paintings by Baltic-German artists hang beside classic Estonian works. Therefore we can see that even the very origins of this art are 100 percent European and bind this small country with Central Europe and the developments there." Klemm recounts that as far back as the 1930s, there were plans to build such an art gallery in Estonia. "And just as the opening of the State Opera at the beginning of the 20th century helped establish a national identity in Estonia, commentators expect the KUMU to achieve something similar in the 21st century."

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