Open today 11–18

Edgar Johan Kuusik, 1931. EAM 7.1.76

The War of Independence monument competition work “Mälestis-ehis”

The story of the monument begins in the 1920s, when the statue of Peter I standing on the Freedom Square was taken down (1922) and it was decided to erect a statue of the War of Independence in its place. The construction of the monument delayed, and instead a massive limestone memorial-mausoleum designed by Edgar Johan Kuusik was erected at the Defence Forces Cemetery (1928). At the end of 1930, when the competition for the construction of a War of Independence monument on Harjumäe was announced, Edgar Johan Kuusik in cooperation with Elmar Lohk submitted two works for the competition. The competition entry with the keyword “Mälestis-ehis” repeats the same motif as the memorial-mausoleum in the cemetery – a massive cubic volume with four arches opening towards the four cardinal directions. However, the prize went to the authors’ second work “Pro Patria”. Later, Kuusik used the same style at the gate building of the Defence Forces Cemetery (1938). The competition work “Mälestis-ehis” was donated to the museum by the E. J. Kuusik family in 2021, the drawings were conserved in Conservation and Digitisation Centre Kanut. Text: Anne Lass