Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita uzruna Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas simtgades svinībās un grāmatas “LMA100” atvēršanas svētkos

Dear Rector, Dear Lecturers, Students, Dear People, Dear Culture Professionals,


I greet you on the hundredth anniversary of the Art Academy of Latvia!

Let us imagine what the time was 100 years ago. It was the time of Bermontians. The Latvian government was on board the ship for a short while, as it was the only territory controlled by Latvia. Different armies came and went away, but what happened? The Art Academy of Latvia was established. In spite of the chaotic times, Latvians considered it be an essential need to establish such an institution. This indicates the role of art and culture had for Latvians, Latvian identity, and Latvian politics. Culture in the broadest sense and art as a part of the culture.

This institution has existed continuously for hundred years through various ages, democratic Latvia, the time of Ulmanis, the Soviet occupation and German occupation, and in a free, independent Latvia for almost 30 years now.


The Latvian education system, the system of culture more broadly, and the State of Latvia even more broadly cannot be imagined without the Art Academy of Latvia. We are only less than 2 million people, and we need something special to exist. This special notion is the Latvian language and Latvian culture.

The Art Academy of Latvia in a broader sense is the centre around which art and culture emerge. After graduating from this Academy, people enter cultural life and create many works of art as part of our culture throughout their lives.

Latvia is a cultural superpower! Indeed, we can say it proudly without any shyness.


I had a conversation with the Vice President of India today. India, which has a population of one and a half billion, and Latvia, totalling to approximately 2 million or one ‘middle-sized Indian village’ in terms of population, can speak as equals. We discussed both business and cultural contacts. Cultural ties as one of our common elements that unite our small Latvia and large India, because our cultural heritages are equivalent and egalitarian. Both Indians and Latvians are interested in this cultural exchange. This is just an example of how we can be confident and proud of our culture, which is the foundation of our identity.

Culture precedes a state, and culture accompanies the state all the time. A state without culture (in the case of Latvia) cannot exist. It would make no sense.

As an institution, the Art Academy of Latvia contributed, contributes, and will continue to contribute immensely to Latvian culture, hence the Latvian identity, the state of Latvia.

Many happy returns of the day!

Valsts prezidents Egils Levits piedalās Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas simtgades svinībās un grāmatas “LMA100” atvēršanas svētkos