On Wednesday, 4 May, the ceremonial presentation of a portrait of Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, one of the founders of the Latvian Parliament, took place in the Main Building of the Saeima. The painting is a gift from the speakers of the Saeima appointed after the restoration of independence.
“Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics was among those who conceived the very idea of an independent state of Latvia,” the Speaker of the Saeima said. “May this painting serve as a tribute to an outstanding Latvian statesman and may it serve as a token of our faith and allegiance as we approach the centennial of the Republic of Latvia,” Speaker Mūrniece emphasised.
The portrait, which was presented by speakers Ināra Mūrniece, Solvita Āboltiņa, Gundars Daudze, Indulis Emsis, Ingrīda Ūdre, Alfreds Čepānis and Anatolijs Gorbunovs is a tribute to Latvia’s centennial. One of the goals of the centennial celebrations is to honour the founders of our state and recall the turning points in the history of Latvia’s statehood.
The ceremonial presentation of the portrait is held on this symbolic date when MPs traditionally gather for a ceremonial sitting of the Saeima and other official events, with the participation of the members of the Supreme Council, who voted for the restoration of independence on 4 May 1990.
The emergence of parliamentarism in Latvia was rooted in the desire to consolidate the fragmented nation and lay the foundation for a strong Latvian state. The Provisional National Council of Latvia, created in November 1917, became the driving force supporting the establishment of a fully independent and democratic Republic of Latvia. Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics was one of the founders of the National Council. Later he became a member of the Constitutional Assembly and the 1st Saeima. As the first Minister for Foreign Affairs he established the tradition of holding foreign policy debates at the parliament. He also made his mark in political history by achieving the de facto and de jure recognition of the state of Latvia. While serving as Prime Minister of Latvia, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics put a strong emphasis on cooperation with legislature thus strengthening the foundations of parliamentary democracy in our country.
The author of the portrait is Mārtiņš Lapiņš (1873-1954), a photographer and cinematographer. This oil painting on canvas was completed in 1923.
The portrait of Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics will be displayed in the Saeima Fireplace Room, one of the function rooms where parliamentarians meet with foreign dignitaries and diplomats. It will become a conversation piece for introducing Latvia’s history to esteemed guests of the Saeima.
Saeima Press Service