Photographer's Note

What is Statue of Liberty for New Yorkers and American, The Freedom Monument is to Latvia and Riga inhabitants. Here the view of the copper figure of Liberty, called Milda, with the three stars symbolizing the three historical regions of Latvia - Latgale, Courland and Inflanty. Learning about history of Latvia was for me something new and interesting. It is amazing that such a tiny country, with only 2,067,887 inhabitants (on March 1, 2011) and ethnic Latvians 62.1% of the population, preserved its identity.

From Wiki:
The Freedom Monument (Latvian: Brīvības piemineklis) is a memorial honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918–1920). It is considered an important symbol of the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of Latvia. Unveiled in 1935, the 42-metre (138 ft) high monument of granite, travertine, and copper often serves as the focal point of public gatherings and official ceremonies in Riga.
The sculptures and bas-reliefs of the monument, arranged in thirteen groups, depict Latvian culture and history. The core of the monument is composed of tetragonal shapes on top of each other, decreasing in size towards the top, completed by a 19-metre (62 ft) high travertine column bearing the copper figure of Liberty lifting three gilded stars.
Following Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union and the Freedom Monument was considered for demolition, but no such move was carried out. Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina is sometimes credited for rescuing the monument, because she considered it to be of the high artistic value. Soviet propaganda attempted to alter the symbolic meaning of the monument to better fit with Communist ideology, but it remained a symbol of national independence to the general public.
Despite the Soviet government's efforts, on June 14, 1987, about 5,000 people rallied to commemorate the victims of Soviet deportations. This event, organized by the human rights group Helsinki-86, was the first time after the Soviet occupation that the flower-laying ceremony took place, as the practice was banned by the Soviet authorities. In response the Soviet government organized a bicycle race at the monument at the time when the ceremony was planned to take place. Helsinki-86 organized another flower-laying ceremony on August 23 in the same year to commemorate the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, at which the crowd was dispersed using jets of water. Yet the independence movement grew in size, amounting in some events to more than half a million participants (about one quarter of Latvia's population) and three years later, on May 4, 1990, the re-establishment of the independence of Latvia was declared.

The base and the
whole monument

snunney, No_One, holmertz, imageme, photoray, RhodieIke, ChrisJ has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11813 W: 126 N: 30025] (140858)
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