Today, on March 28, the bust sculpture of Lennart Meri was unveiled in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry. The sculpture is a gift to the Foreign Ministry from the private collection of Jaak and Mikk Lippmaa. The sculptor is Tauno Kangro.
Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand thanked Jaak and Mikk Lippmaa for the gift made to the Foreign Ministry. “Much of what Lennart Meri brought to the Foreign Ministry in his time can be seen in this building today,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand said at the sculpture's unveiling. Lennart Meri was Foreign Minister Kaljurand's first boss at the Foreign Ministry. According to Kaljurand, Lennart Meri was a unique person, especially for those who were lucky enough to work with him starting in 1990.
“He still lives in our building, he still lives in our representations, he is alive in our diplomacy,” the Foreign Minister said. Kaljurand said the period in which Lennart Meri was foreign minister was not an easy one, and today's diplomats are also working in challenging times. The Foreign Minister took the opportunity to recognize Estonia's current diplomats who contributed to the development of the European Union's non-recognition policy for Crimea.
“The sculpture was presented as a gift to the Foreign Ministry, so that those who were fortunate enough to work alongside Lennart Meri, can remember those times and those, who represent younger generations, can be inspired by the figure he was,” Jaak Lippmaa said at the sculpture's unveiling. “Lennart Meri's sculpture now stands where it belongs," Lippmaa added.
“Lennart Meri was foreign minister for two years and those years were full of drama, disappointments and searches, but at the same time, also full of passion, creativity, and faith,” Lennart Meri's son Mart said in his speech. Mart Meri called this period the end of one era and the beginning of another. “It was at this time that Lennart Meri's faith emerged, that the idea of Estonia was sound and worth carrying out,” Meri said.
The opening was also attended by Lennart Meri's family, sculptor Tauno Kangro, former foreign ministers and Lennart Meri's former colleagues.
Lennart Meri was the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia from 1990 to 1992, and President of the Republic from 1992 to 2001.
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