The United Buddy Bears spend the summer of 2018 in Riga. At the invitation of the German Embassy, the exhibition is on display on the Dome Square in the Latvian capital from 12 July to 22 August 2018.
This first visit of the bears to the Baltic States is a gift from Germany to the people of Latvia on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the state. The exhibition is organized by the German Embassy in Riga in cooperation with the Riga City Council.
On the Dome Square in the heart of the city, more than 140 of the 2m tall United Buddy Bears stand peacefully hand in hand and set an example for tolerance and international understanding. Each of the 2m large sculptures represents a country of the United Nations and was designed by an artist of the respective country.
In addition to the United Buddy Bears and the associated special bears, a Buddy Bear for the city of Riga was also unveiled at the opening on 12 July. Designed by Latvian pupils, this bear will remain in Riga after the exhibition to commemorate the six-week exhibition that takes visitors on a proverbial journey around the globe.
Right from the start, the United Buddy Bears have been committed to helping children in need. This time, too, there will be various campaigns and appeals for donations in connection with the exhibition on behalf of the foundation of the children's hospital in Riga. The aim is to raise funds for young patients who cannot receive state funding for their treatment.
The patronage for the exhibition of United Buddy Bears in Latvia is assumed by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Latvia, Rolf Schütte, the Mayor of Riga, Nils Ušakovs and the Minister of Culture of Latvia, Dace Melbārde.
The opening ceremony took place on 12 July at 12:30 pm on the Dome Square. The Buddy Bears can be visited there until 22 August. As always, the exhibition is open to the public and free of charge.
Please read here the speech Ambassador Rolf Schütte held at the opening ceremony of the "United Buddy Bear" exhibition on the Dome Square in Riga, 12 July 2018.
On 12 July 2018 the exhibtion of the United Buddy Bears was opened by the three patrons: Rolf Schütte, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Latvia, Nils Ušakovs, the Mayor of Riga, and the Minister of Culture of Latvia, Dace Melbārde.
Eva Herlitz who – togehter with her husband Klaus Herlitz – is the initiator of this project also held a speech and congratulated the Latvian people on their 100th birthday. She did so in the name of all the 143 countries represented by Buddy Bears shown in the exhibition in Riga.
Grateful words came from Liene Dambina of the Riga Children's Hospital Foundation. She thanked all the people, embassies and supporters who already donated money or whose donation will be collected in connection with the exhibition of the United Buddy Bears in aid of young patients.
At this special occasion the Buddy Bear of Riga was unveiled by the Mayor of the City and the German ambassador.
The bear was designed by 7 year old Patrīcija Laursone. The painting of the Buddy Bear was realised by Latvian artist Viktorija Kosenko.
The Riga-Bear will stay in the city after the end of the exhibition.
Several embassies had agreed to be patrons of the Buddy Bear representing their country in the exhibition in Riga. The money for the patronage is transferred to the charity project the United Buddy Bears support in Latvia: the children's hospital foundation in Riga.
Therefore, we would like to thank:
the Embassy of Belarus, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Georgia, the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of Russia, the Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
(For more pictures please refer to buddy-fans.de)
The exhibtion ended on 22 August 2018 after 6 weeks, during which thousands of visitors from Latvia and abroad had come to see the United Buddy Bears on Riga's Dome Square.
Two weeks later, German ambassador Rolf Schütte received a certificate of recognition for his initiative and personal commitment in the successful realisation of this bilateral project. The honorary certificate was handed over by Riga's Mayor Nils Usakovs in front of the town hall.
Rolf Schütte was also more than happy to hand something over himself: a cheque for 9,800 euros to the fund of the children's hospital.
As so often, the exhibition of the United Buddy Bears was once again connected with a charitable purpose: Donations were collected for the children's hospital in Riga to enable little patients who do not receive state support to undergo treatment. Through donations from visitors, the sale of Buddy Bear souvenirs and the support of several embassies, the proceeds of almost 10,000 euros were raised.
The cheque was presented to Liene Dambina on International Charity Day, 5 September.
The exhibition owes its origin and the possibility to be visited all over the world completely free of charge to the committed work of many institutions, organisations, administrative bodies, companies and individuals.
For supporting the 32nd exhibition of the United Buddy Bears in Riga, Lativa, we want to thank: