TARTU OBSERVATORY UNVEILED WORLD HERITAGE PLAQUE
The plaque was unveiled by UT Rector Professor Jaak Aaviksoo, the Estonian Minister for Environmental Affairs Mr Villu Reiljan, and the Mayor of Tartu Ms Laine Jänes. The ceremony included an explanation of the significance of the Arc and a demonstration of historical as well as modern surveying equipment. The public had the access to the Observatory and the Observatory's planetarium.
The event continued at the UT History Museum, where Dr Tõnu Viik and Dr Jüri Randjärv gave short presentations on Struve as the scientist who enabled us to get a more precise idea of the shape of the Earth and on his Geodetic Arc. These were followed by a discussion of how historical heritage can serve the future.
The UT Observatory, completed in 1810 is a significant monument in the history of world geodesy and astronomy. The famed building, however, is now in need of repair. The strategic plan for the development of the Toome Hill area, drawn up in collaboration between the City and the University of Tartu foresees the restoration of the Observatory as a museum.
The Struve Geodetic Arc was included in UNESCO World Heritage List on 15 July 2005. The work carried out under Struve's supervision during 1816-1855 has been instrumental in establishing the shape and size of the Earth and served the development of astronomy, geodesy and cartography. The Arc today stretches through the territory of 10 different countries. In addition to the Observatory, its Võivere and Simuna points situated in Estonia have also been deemed to merit inscription on the UNESCO list.
Additional information: Ms Reet Mägi, UT Museums, tel. +372 737 5675, +372 504 0826
Senior Specialist for Public Relations,
UT Public Relations and Information Unit
tel. +372 737 5509; mob. +372 527 6922