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Visit to the Smiltene region; exhibition „Czech UNESCO Heritage“ in Smiltene Cultural Centre

On 18 May, Ambassador Jana Hynková, together with the Embassy's expert in science, education, and culture, Nadežda Kopoloveca, and representatives of the Czech unit in the NATO eFP in Ādaži, led by Capt. Jan Kuthan, visited the region and the town of Smiltene, which is a partner city of the Czech town Písek. The aim was to visit one of the municipalities of Latvia, which has a partner town in the Czech Republic, to discuss possible cooperation opportunities and to get acquainted with the region.

The delegation was welcomed at the Town Hall by the Mayor Mr. Edgars Avotiņš, as well as the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Social Affairs Ms. Astrīda Harju, the Executive Director of the Municipality Mr. Andris Lapiņš and the Deputy Executive Director of the Municipality Mr. Martiņš Ulāns.

„There are no complications in the relations between the Czech Republic and Latvia, which gives us the opportunity instead of working on solving problems to promote cooperation in various areas,“ said Ambassador Hynková, also mentioning the common features of both countries and peoples and stressing the importance of unity and cooperation in the context of the current war in Ukraine. She also thanked for maintaining cooperation with Písek, Smiltene's twin city in the Czech Republic, and called for strengthening these ties.

In the following part of the visit, the delegation visited the company SIA „AW Latvia”, which produces unique reclaimed wood products. The Ambassador highly appreciated the products created there, adding that in her opinion it is one of the most interesting enterprises in Latvia. Appreciation to the representatives of „AW Latvia” for the warm welcome!

Smiltene High School received no less praise from the Ambassador's delegation. Thank-yous to teacher Aiga Sorokina, student government president Elisa Kauliņa and principal Valda Cirīte for showing us around the building and introducing us to the learning process!

During the visit to the school, representatives of the Czech military unit in eFP NATO BG Latvia met with the upper grade students and informed about their activities in Latvia. In response to a question about the motivation to defend Latvia, the unit's captain J.Kuthan emphasised freedom as one of the main values of life and the aim to prevent the repetition of severe historical events.

In the final part of the visit, Ambassador Hynková, in the presence of the mayor of the town, opened the exhibition „Czech UNESCO Heritage – Style is not to be written. Style is to be looked at” in the premises of Smiltene Cultural Centre. The exhibition presents the UNESCO heritage sites in the Czech Republic in sixteen panels. The exhibition was prepared by the Association of Czech Towns and Municipalities. The exhibition is on display at the Smiltene Cultural Centre from 18 May to 13 June during the opening hours of the centre and is free of charge to all visitors. We would like to thank the staff of the Cultural Centre for organizing the exhibition and the opening, and the student of the Music School of Smiltene Paula Šutele, teacher Aija Kruse and concert master Inguna Balode for the excellent musical performance.