Considering the response of Latvian communities, representatives of Latvian culture and state language policy-makers to naming the restaurant situated in the Castle of Light «Kleever», the management of National Library of Latvia plans to consult with OZRT catering company to use a word more appropriate to Latvian language – «Klīvers».
For a more distinct separation from German language, poet and translator Uldis Berzins recommends using the form most appropriate form in line with ancient writing and speaking in Latvia – «Klīveris», as reported by National Library of Latvia.
Andris Vilks, Director of the Library, expresses his gratitude to people interested and involved in matters related to the Castle of Light. He notes that the institution’s activities are important for the national, local and cultural identity.
«I believe it is unethical and disrespectful to go to lengths to make words (of different origin)that carry names of locations, streets or premises as close to modern Riga reality. This episode proves how simplistic and lacking in intelligence the understanding about ‘local’ and ‘foreign’, ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’ inheritance, ethnic and ethical values really is. All of it is Latvia’s history, its inheritance that enriches the country and its nation. The National Library requires its own identity. Teaching history and providing enlightenment is one of the ways to create, develop and maintain it. We want to be a library of the entire nation, providing synergy for our island’s neighbouring territories – Mukusala, Tornakalns, Agenskalns and Kipsala. This place is very interesting and has a rich past, starting, perhaps, with a site of an ancient Liv settlement, Cistercian Monastery and ending with painters Voldemars Irbits and Konrads Urbans.»
Using the library’s resources, National encyclopedia «Latviešu konversācijas vārdnīca» and other publications and information, Vilks offers a historic look at the origins of the word ‘klīvers’: «’Klīvers’ (klüver in German and kluiver in Dutch) is a staysail (or jib) that was usually set up in front of a ship’s foremast (Jumava, 1999; Tilde, 2009). As a result of merged use of Dutch, German and Latvian language there have been different variants used throughout the course of history: kluiver, kleever, kleewer, kliwer and others. It is worth mentioning that Low German dialect was mostly dominant during the age of Hanseatic League. This especially true for Riga.»
Vilks also mentioned the geographic location of the Castle of Light – the place where the library stands now had initially consisted of multiple islands that finally merged together to form Kliversala in the 17-18 century. «Unfortunately, there are no references in modern maps about Kliversala. Several years ago, academic Janis Stradins proposed giving the library the address Kliver Square. It turned out that there had just been a change of address from Victory Boulevard 2 to Mukusalas Street 3, so the proposal was declined. These comments are a reason to consider giving the restaurant a name related to Kliversala. It should be added that using names of popular figures is also part of the tradition,» – said Vilks.
He mentioned proof listed in different sources – Kliversala got its name from wood material trader Dietrich Klüver: «It is not a unique thing for names of different locations in Riga – Lucavsala (Klauss Lucauss), Voleri (Henings Volers), Bolderaja (Johan Buldering), Agenskalns (Heinrich von Hagen), etc.»
The final name of the restaurant will be revealed during the official opening ceremony on 29 July.