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At the beginning of the sitting, the alternate member of the Riigikogu Mart Nutt and the Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu took the oath of office before the Riigikogu. 

The Minister of Culture Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning state museums in counties (No 146), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev, Mailis Reps, Yana Toom, Ester Tuiksoo and Inara Luigas on 4 April. 

According to Lang’s explanations, no decision has been made saying that all state museums in counties in Estonia would be transformed into foundations or be transferred to local governments. He added that all state museums in counties in Estonia have their particularities and they all must be regarded differently depending on their specifics. “We are doing the preparation work. We have mapped the Estonian museum network in terms of essential activities and the economic side. We are having negotiations with some local governments and museums where, taking account of the interests of the local community, the local government or the local government and the state in mutual cooperation through a legal person in private law would be able to develop the museum most effectively,” Lang said. 

The Minister noted that the Estonian museum landscape needs organising and updating. He stressed that, in the 21 century, the museum is a living place where people find excitement for the whole family and which is educating for children as well as adults. “Unfortunately there are museums in Estonia which remain unattractive to our people because it is not extremely interesting to go and see one and the same stuffed animal in different regions. The result is that some museums are desolate, they have budget difficulties and are looking undecidedly towards the Ministry of Culture, hoping that the Ministry will find a fortune somewhere,” Lang described the situation. According to his explanations, it is an objective of the Ministry of Culture that all museums in Estonia be modern, educating, with interesting expositions and, above all, oriented towards visitors. As positive examples, Lang highlighted the Art Museum of Estonia, the History Museum which had been opened previous summer and, as the most recent example, the Seaplane Harbour of the Estonian Maritime Museum unique in the Baltic Sea region. 

In the Minister’s words, the changes related to Tartumaa Museum, Järvamaa Museum, Läänemaa Museum, Iisaku Museum and Mahtra Peasantry Museum have been discussed with the heads of the museums concerned, the local governments and the boards of the museums. “We have received feedback from the museums that they are willing to decide and plan their activities themselves. The trend of establishing of foundations offers significantly greater independence for museums in the decision-making than is the case today, and new opportunities for the institution to develop and become stronger in the museum landscape,” Lang noted. 

The Minister of Education and Research Jaak Aaviksoo replied to three interpellations. They were the following: 

the interpellation concerning the state examination in the Estonian language (No 148), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Mailis Reps, Yana Toom, Priit Toobal, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa and Vladimir Velman on 5 April; 

the interpellation concerning teachers’ salary rise (No 162), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman, Lauri Laasi, Peeter Võsa, Enn Eesmaa, Tarmo Tamm, Jüri Ratas, Olga Sõtnik, Priit Toobal, Viktor Vassiljev, Yana Toom and Ester Tuiksoo on 30 April; 

the interpellation concerning the closing of schools in Jõgeva (No 166), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Marika Tuus-Laul, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman, Eldar Efendijev, Priit Toobal, Viktor Vassiljev, Yana Toom and Ester Tuiksoo on 7 May. 

During the open microphone, Inara Luigas took the floor. 

The Riigikogu Press Service