Latvian State President Raimonds Vejonis came to Riga Castle on Wednesday, 16 September, along with Riga Castle Reconstruction Council Chairman Imants Lancmanis to have a look at the progress of repairs. After their visit, Vejonis expressed hope it will be possible to relocate to the new work place at the beginning of 2016.
Vejonis said, unfortunately, it will not be possible to hold celebration of 18 November in Riga Castle this year. «Work is close to being completed. It is not possible to finish this year, however,» – said the President. He added that he wished to see if it was possible to complete work by 1 November. «It does look rather hopeful,» – he said.
He added that the part of Riga Castle that has yet to be restored has to be completed before Latvia’s 100th anniversary and have «the building fully renovated». When asked when the President expects to start working in the new building, Vejonis said the premises still require work. With that, it is hard to predict. «I hope I will be able to relocate at the beginning of next year,» – said Vejonis.
Lancmanis said the speed of repair work has not impacted the quality of work, because people who currently work in Riga Castle take the utmost care in their duties. «A paradox – had there been no fire, I doubt people would have taken so much care and responsibility in restoration work,» – he said. He mentioned the White Hall as an example of high-quality work, adding that it has never been as beautiful as it seems now, after repairs. «In 1862, it was hastily covered in white paint when Tsar Alexander II arrived,» – said Lancmanis. «Everything is being done to the maximum extent. Not only in Rundales Castle, but also here, in Latvia’s Nr 1 building,» – he said.