Minister of Culture Indrek Saar approved the appointment of Merilin Piipuu to the post of the Ministry of Culture’s Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage, as proposed by the Government Office’s commission for the selection of senior management posts. The new undersecretary will assume her position at the ministry in January of 2019.
The Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage will head up the cultural heritage field, organise various activities related to museums, heritage protection, libraries and folk culture, and be responsible for drawing up strategic documents and legislation. The task of the undersecretary also includes coordinating the work of the National Heritage Board.
“Merilin Piipuu is an outstanding professional known for her taking stand for her field of cultural heritage as well as for her dedicated contribution into it. Also, she has demonstrated herself as a daring leader filled with ideas. Her academic background and her experience working in the private and non-profit sectors will contribute new ideas and viewpoints for the future development of the cultural heritage field,” Tarvi Sits, the Secretary General of the Ministry said.
“I believe that Estonia needs new ways of thinking that stress everyone’s opportunity and responsibility for the preservation of our culture, said Merilin Piipuu. “Preserving our culture is not only state's business, it is everybody's business. For a small nation, cooperation is an extremely important factor in ensuring the viability of culture, that is, cooperation at the local government, state and community level, as well as witin the context of the private sector and individuals. Everyone has a role and a responsibility, be it in the form of financial support, time invested, or shared skills and knowledge,” Piipuu emphasised.
Merilin Piipuu earned her degree in sociology and political science from the University of Essex in the UK. While acquiring her MA degree in ethnology at the University of Tartu, she came in contact with memory research as well the analysis of contemporary cultural processes. For the last four years, Merilin has managed the development of the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom, and during her tenure, the museum opened KGB prison cells, installed a new permanent exhibition called Freedom Without Borders, and organised an international exhibition called Masters of our Own Homes: Estonia at 100”. Previously she has headed several civic associations and founded the Centre for Applied Anthropology, which deals with applied cultural research.