The Monument Board (Piemineklu valde) was a state institution supervised by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Latvia. Its task was to work on and develop heritage protection. It was founded, taking as a basis the law 'On Monument Protection' passed on 26 January 1923, and functioned until the Soviet occupation in 1940. The structure of the Monument Board changed several times. Part of its members was appointed by the government; part was selected according to the principle of representation from the State Museum of History, the Latvian University and the Latvian Academy of Art. Regardless of the fact that well-known public figures and recognized professionals worked at the Monument Board, the article demonstrates that the heritage protection during the first period of Latvia's independence was dependant on a small group of people and society was not involved in solutions of major issues. Politicians used the Monument Board according to their interests, especially after Karlis Ulmanis established his authoritarian regime in 1934. The question of whether Monument Board members and its director, archaeologist Francis Balodis, were eager to collaborate and serve the regime, subjecting heritage protection issues to the political interests of those in power, remains open.
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