Talk:Freedom Monument

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Featured article Freedom Monument is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 23, 2008.
Did You Know Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 30, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
June 17, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
August 31, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
September 24, 2007 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on February 7, 2007.
Current status: Featured article


A great deal of this article is directly copied from the named sources - not sure how close this is to the copyvio border, but must be close.HeartofaDog 01:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I've looked at the sources and your allegation of copyvio doesn't seem very substantial. To follow souces "closely" does not constitute copyvio per se, as long as substatial sections are not copied right away. Running the article on Google neither confirms copyvio, certainly not for "a great deal of the article". The SS vet marches are well documented "problem", rising some concern particularly within the Russian community. Camptown 10:01, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
As I say, the copyright points are borderline - if they had been greater I would simply have tagged it "copyvio". Nevertheless, if you remove everything that has been copied verbatim, including all the mistakes in English, from the two named principle sources (no need gfor Gogle), there is very little left over. As for the rest, you have put your finger right on the problem, I think - this is an article on a Latvian national monument written from a Russian perspective, and thank you for pointing that out.HeartofaDog 13:20, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I tried to do my best, but it's always hard to satisfy everybody when it comes to sensitive subjects such as a national Freedom Monument which seems to mean so much for many people. I could understand if there is disagreement with the Latvian Legion part of the story, and I would welcome any edits from people who know more about the subject. Apart from that, I don't see that the article is written mostly from a Russian perspective. Do you really think so? Camptown 14:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
You will never satisfy everybody when it comes to issues like these! I think the significance of this monument as a symbol of the survival, against all the odds, of a very small nation of decades of hostile occupation from both Germans and Russians is far greater than the fact that a few old Nazis insist on having their rallies round it. Nor do I think that Russian press are likely to be without bias when it comes to reporting on events in their former territories. To answer your question directly, I do think, since you mention it, that this article has been written with a strong Russian slant in the sense that the whole piece focuses on this one point about the Latvian Legions or whatever they call themselves, with the apparent intention discrediting Latvian independence - and this is being very heavily emphasized: why else has it turned up on DYK? Wikipedia is being used here to make a political point - cui bono?
Sorry to keep on it about it, but please note that the English of this article is poor, regardless of the content - it has been simply copied and pasted from another website, where it is a not very good translation into English from a Latvian original - and must please stay tagged as such. I have however used a different tag this time. HeartofaDog 15:56, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


I wanted to check factual accuracy, it is more or less correct, but there are few things that really bother me, since I accedentaly lost edits I had made I'll go and check these, but I'll outline my concerns here, in case if someone has something to say:

  1. The Freedom Monument was designed in 1931-1935 by Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle, and erected in 1935, during the first, very brief period of the nation's actual freedom.
  2. Despite propaganda, the Freedom Monument became a powerful symbol of anti-Soviet resistance, serving as the focus of gatherings in the late 1980s during early stages of the drive for independence. The independence movement started at the monument on 14 June 1987, when some 5,000 people rallied illegally to commemorate the victims of Stalinian deportations.
  3. In 1950, during the first Soviet years, a statue of Lenin (with its back turned against the Freedom monument), was erected two blocks to the east on Freedom Street, which had been renamed Lenin Street in 1950. The Lenin statue was removed on the night of 20 August 1991, after the failed Moscow coup attempt.
  4. After the liberation, for a brief period in the 1990s, the Freedom Monument was the focal point of marches of veterans of the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS, who fought the Soviet Union during World War II. Despite being banned, these marches have also occurred in recent years, notably on the occasion of the Latvian accession to NATO in 2004. Although the implication of these marches of a small number of aging members of a criminal organisation in a free society is debatable, the Russian government has repeatedly protested against the marches, calling them "perverted"
  5. Today, the Freedom Monument is, alongside the Latvian flag, one of the most important Latvian symbols.
  6. There are always fresh flowers at the base of the monument, and the honor guard changes every hour between 9am and 6pm.
  7. In Baltic mythology, Milda is the goddess of love
  1. I don't like the wording here, this period is refered to as "interwar period" elsewere, but perhaps there is no need to say it that way - article could mention that the monument was built to honour freedom fighters and then later go and say that after WWII Latvia lost indipendence.
  2. It was not the first independence movement - this simply was mass movment that finaly sucsseeded, the monument didn't became anything - it has always been a symbol of national independence. Again - it is because of the wording
  3. This implies that Lenin was deliberetly placed facing in oposite dirrection, in reality there is an alley of trees in middle of the street, it has been there for at least last hundred years, it starts behind the Freedom Monument and ends "two blocks to the east" were the statue of Lenin was, facing to the middle of a busy street and the passersby, not with the face in trees, ofcorse. The footnote in this paragraph implies that there is connection between name of the street and that of the monument which is doubtfull. I think this should be removed - the statue of Lenin was two blocks away and had nothing to do with the Monumet of Freedom (and it apears to be copy/paste from it's reference as well)
  4. There is an event on March 16 every year when they have a procession to the monument were they lay flowers. The monument isn't "focal point", because they celebrate this day and they participate in other events on this day, they aren't "marching", this event isn't permanently banned - each year they must get premision from the city council for the event and they don't always get it (especialy in recent years). The "Pravda" article on Latvia's accession to NATO apears to be biased, I'll try to find other reference, if not I'll remove that sentence. Also "members of a criminal organisation" is bad wording - the Waffen SS indeed was a criminal organisation, but it doesn't exist anymore, the legionaries and they supporters are legal organizations. The main concern here is that the legionaries are joined by Latvian nationalists, while the Russian nationalists protest against what they call "facist march", so it's rather battle between these two sides, not a peacefull procession, futhermore some Russian nationalists have acctualy attacked people, thus this event may impose threat to public safety. However Latvian officials fail to settle this in any reasonable way - for example last year they made fence in the middle of the night to March 16 around the monument to make repairments to base of the monument, Latvians were anoyed and many pointed that the goverment is acting even worse than soviets. Thus the monument has becomed a reason of a political battle far more forse than few old men taking a walk and if article mentions Latvian Legion it should explain this.
  5. It surely is one of the symbols of Latvia, but it shouldn't be compered to flag and other official symbols
  6. I've heard that honor gard changes more often
  7. Milda is not Latvian godess and since it is not official naming, but a nickname given by people it should be named after some common known fact and there is a legend that it is named after the model posing for the statue.

-- Xil/talk 19:49, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Interesting! I've heard that the Communist authorities wanted to tear it down, but it was saved partly thanks to Vera Mukhina's opposition, and later by a local City Mayor who converted the immediate area into a pedestrian street. Wasn't the Lenin Monument acually planned to replace the Freedom Monument? And is the fact that the Lenin Monument is facing the east (and therefore turning its back against the Freedom Monument) just incidential? Is it also true that the veterans of the Latvian Legion are receiving some sympathy as freedom fighters by elderly Latvians in particular? I addition, I think the conflict between Latvian and Russian nationalsts - using the monument for questionable political purposes - is notable enough to be included and developed further in the article. -- Cheers, Camptown 12:35, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if soviets had planed to replace the monument of freedom with Lenins' monument, but in the place were Lenin was he cold not face any other direction - imagine an "U" where in top direction there is alley of trees and busy street in all other directions here is a google map of the place were Lenin was - see your self (the monument of freedom on the other hand, I believe, is placed so to face Daugava river). The street around monument indeed is pedastrian, but I don't know since when or whether it was pedastrian before soviet occupation, can you name the mayor you're talking about ? I also have heard something about Vera Mukhina opposing to demolison. As for the Legion - the article on Latvian Legion would be better place to go into details on March 16, because, as I said, there are other events on this day that take place elsewere, ofcorse this article should mention political significance of the monument. The Legion is considered freedom fighters by vast mayoroty of Latvians - it appears that there even is a goverment declaration saying that it is a war crime to mobilize people of occupied territories into army, and that part of Latvians would risk their lives if they wouldn't join the army and that most of those who voluntiered to Legion wanted to revange to soviets, it also says that Latvian Legion fought only soviets, didn't participiate in holocaust and even refused to fight with other allies. Now there are two other issues:

During the post war Soviet years of Latvia, the symbolism of the Freedom Monument was erroneously reinterpreted according to official Communist propaganda. The three stars were said to stand for the newly created Baltic Soviet Republics - Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR - and the monument was even claimed to have been erected as a sign of popular gratitude toward the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin for his "liberation" of the Baltic States

Says the article, and then there is an actual soviet encyclopedia ("Rīga") that says something entirely different - "to honour the working people who fought tsar and the german explutators", which suprisingly happens to be true, althought served soviet way. So was there several myths ? Also the monument was renewed during soviet era (in '81). Secondly - in addition to what I already said about Legion in my previous comment - the Law enforcing need to have premision for such public events as protests, meetings and procesions has been freshly rulled out as unconstiutional-- Xil/talk 18:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
As of soviet monuments in Riga - I'd say that the Victory monument is made to reflect design of freedom monument. And this article should have full image of the freedom monument, unfortunetly there are only two in commons, bouth are shot in bad light conditions and have by passing people in front of the monument -- Xil/talk 21:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I striked out from my list issues that have been adressed, mostly by changing wording, however I simply removed the paragraph on Lenin's monument - it was partly a copyvio from Lonely Planet - a site that claims that it provides information "as is". The honour guard indeed changes every hour, I was confusing it with honour guard at he Riga castle -- Xil/talk 05:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I deleted note explainig meaning of Milda - the only sorce I could find didn't give any etymology for it, I linked it to the disambiguation page as it gives all posible meanings. Now only legionaries remain on my list and I'm going to wait what happens this year befor editing that paragraph - the event is less than a month away and I'm sure there will be much more information available at the time -- Xil/talk 20:50, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I rewroted the part on legion - apperently there was no reason to wait *sigh* Anyway I have addresed all my concerns in one way or another, so it's done ---- Xil/talk 18:46, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


"During the post war Soviet years of Latvia, the symbolism of the Freedom Monument was reinterpreted according to official Communist propaganda. The three stars were said to stand for the newly created Baltic Soviet Republics - Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR - held by Mother Russia and the monument was even claimed to have been erected after World War II as a sign of popular gratitude toward the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin for liberation of the Baltic States. However, the propaganda was later toned down and by 1988 the monument was rather correctly said to be built to "celebrate the liberation from bondage of the autocracy of the tsar and German barons". Ironically, it was considered a crime by the Communist authorities to lay flowers at the foot of the monument."

There are some issues on this paragraphs neutrality that I would like to point out.

1. The use of rather correctly is not incorrect, unfortunately not adequate as well. It is like telling the truth but not the whole truth. If that quote from the Soviet propaganda can be used for the reason as to why the memorial was erected, it would be most correct to add the following: "celebrate the liberation from bondage of the tsarist autocracy and Bolshevism". The German barons were part of the tsarist autocracy, only propaganda needs to emphasize the obvious.

2. German barons links to Baltic Germans in the quoted paragraph, which equals painting with a broad brush. Something similar would be to let Communism link to Russians. I am convinced real life is not that black and white.

3. Ironically. The use of this word underlines the lack of neutrality in the quoted paragraph, since it must be obvious that there were more than two parties to the civil war in Latvia that followed World War I - Latvians, tsarist aristocracy (Germans, Russians) and Bolsheviks.

4. Furthermore, it would be nice if embedded messages from the author in the article could be avoided. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Philaweb (talkcontribs) 17:14, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Just some observations on the above...
  1. "Rather correctly" is fine, the monument is to honor the Latvians attaining freedom after all the centuries of foreign domination: German, Polish, Swedish, Russsian... --Tsarism was a late-comer
  2. Barons linking to Baltic Germans... well, this was largely the case, Latvia was divided into German-owned manors and Latvians were sharecroppers (after serfdom was abolished); only land reform after independence ended that domination and on the whole appropriate association
  3. "Ironically" is probably fine... if the official Soviet line was that the monument stood for something positive in the history of Latvians, it would be ironic that putting flowers on the monument (extremely common across Eastern Europe and Russia) would, however, be illegal. I don't see that "ironically" is a word denoting lack of neutrality, rather, it points out inconsistency
  4. I'll consider putting in one of mine, perhaps. :-)  —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 02:36, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder who the articles are written for - ourselves or the readers. Personally, I have nothing against serving Soviet propaganda as anecdotes to showcase the Soviet system, which is a very common practice in Latvia. The question to me is whether outsiders who just want to read this article are able to understand the internal dialogue of the articles author(s).
Serving propaganda as anecdotes should be done very cautiously since the reader otherwise is going to miss the point. In the quoted paragraph the reader is not explained why the author of the paragraph thinks it is ironic that the Soviet system considered it as a crime to lay flowers at the memorial. The word "Ironically" to me is actually emphazising the essence of the Soviet propaganda - without explaining it to the reader. I do not need explanation, people who lived in the Soviet system does not need an explanation, since reading propaganda was done "between the lines", but people not familiar with the warped world of propaganda would most likely take it at face value.
By the way... I have no intention of altering the text at the moment. Just wanted to give my two cents worth on this subject. --Philaweb 08:40, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Pēters, after some additional thoughts I am inclined to your second and fourth point. For this article the link in point two is appropriate. I agree that the Baltic Germans were the upper class of society, but not necessarily just the aristocracy. The fourth point, well, okay. It just bugs me that embedded messages should be necessary. --Philaweb 09:44, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Pēters, as to your first point, I do not agree on your POV. The article states: "The Freedom a memorial to honor soldiers killed in action during the Latvian War of Independence." No mention of a broader definition. Why make it "rather correctly", when you can make it "most correctly" by adding the term Bolshevism to the paragraph, at the same time explaining the purpose of Soviet propaganda. This wording would also neutralize the word "Ironically" as per point four. --Philaweb 10:59, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
It is a quote from a book, that's why it's placed in quotes, you can't just alter it, because it would seem that victory over Bolsheviks is more correct (and you would make the prupose of the quote incorrect - it depicts soviet propoganda, how could propoganda of a bolshevik state say that something honours someone who fought bolsheviks ?), exactly the reason why I used "rather correctly", as it was previously removed by someone and I guess that most people would preceive propoganda as lies, therefore I left the embeded note - to shortly explain why there is some truth in it and why I feel that this grain of truth should be pointed out. I think "German barons" stand for Baltic Germans, as allready said above, it's hardly painting with wide brush. I agree that "Ironically" shouldn't be there and I removed it. I am doing my best to write so that everyone can understand, but I am trying to keep referenced facts in the article (not to delete them), in this particular case I saw no reason to remove referenced propoganda example, but to give only one example, most likely from Stalin's era, knowing that not all propoganda was completely blant nonsence, seemed as wrong as POV, because it just doesn't give full insight ---- Xil/talk 12:11, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Xil, I do understand your POV and do not dismiss Soviet propaganda as utter lies. I have added my bit to highlight the nature of Soviet propaganda and the Techniques of propaganda generation. Now, it is not reader assumptions as to why the quote is "rather correctly". --Philaweb 13:15, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I hope this solves the problem. I edited your addition a bit, because the sentence seemed wrongly built -- Xil/talk 13:24, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. --Philaweb 13:30, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Equestrian statue of Peter the Great[edit]

Nota Bene: The equestrian statue of Peter the Great was already dismantled and shipped off by ship to St. Petersburg prior to the invasion of Riga by the German Army, September 3, 1917. In other words, there was only a pillar standing on that spot for almost 18 years. The statue itself disappeared when the ship transporting it was sunk by German warships on the Baltic Sea. --Philaweb T-C 21:42, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure about that ? Statue of Barclay de Tolly was lost in the manner you desribed. I think Peter the Troublecauser was kept somewhere in Riga all these years until it emerged from nowhere few years ago when a rich businesman restored it and Riga city council wanted to set it up somewhere in the city causing much controversy in the process. Same businesan later renewed Barclay's statue - aren't you mixing them up for this reason and where did you learn about this ? -- Xil/talk 22:38, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Wanted to answer you earlier, but forgot. The information I have got is not verifiable, I think it is from a brochure on phonecards or postage stamps I read some years ago. --Philaweb T-C 20:24, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm pretty sure it is wrong - aside from the reasons I mentioned above, one of the sources I used for this article gives detailed information about Peter's statue's condition in 1945 [1] ("The figure is disambled and consists of 15 pieces. It is well preserved, except for lower part of the horse.") ---- Xil/talk 21:17, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

I have failed this GA for the primary reason of lack of references. While some sections are fairly well referenced (though even those have a few statements that need referencing) many others are unreferenced, for example, the design section. I would go through it and try to reference as many individual statements as possible. Also, although I don't know if it is a problem, all of the sources are Latvian, which is understandable. However, I just wonder if there is any problem with that in the referencing, and that if anyone knows. Just something I noticed. DoomsDay349 00:20, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I reviewed references more carefully and placed them more often in the article. I think if I'd place reference after every single sentence it would be overdone. Wikipedia:Verifiability#Sources in languages other than English says that "English-language sources should be used in preference to foreign-language sources, assuming the availability of an English-language source of equal quality", unfortunetly I could find very few reliable English sorces of similar quality. Anyway I hope I've addressed the problem, so I'm re-nominating this article.---- Xil/talk 00:14, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Just an FYI, I do hope to finish translating the Freedom Monument book on our site by some time this fall so it's generally accessible. (It's my antidote to mediation cabals :-) ) —  Pēters J. Vecrumba 02:21, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I'm hoping to hire someone... I'm going to see if I can get a grant to translate a few works. —PētersV (talk) 15:41, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Passed GA[edit]

Very well written, plenty of pictures and references. Good job!--Jerry 14:27, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

The various groupings[edit]

I don't think "Scholars" (Latvian: Gara darbinieki) is quite right. I also have (in Švābe's encyclopedia) the grouping named the same in LAtvian. Siliņš, however, names them "Garīgās dzīves veidotāji", so, molders/shapers of religious/spiritual life--so, not scholars and scholarship. Thoughts? And mixed up pictures uploading, ak vai. —PētersV (talk) 00:30, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I was hoping to just have a straight gallery of thumbnails across the bottom of the section but I'm having a bit of difficulty determining the proper [[Image:whatever|...|...|...]] syntax. Wikipedia searching is notoriously ineffective in turning up Wikipedia related info (could be my notoriously ineffective search method of course!). "Image" just seems bound and determined to stack images along the right or left margin (block mode spacing) no matter what. I know I found a tutorial a long time ago,...
  I was really only in Latvia for 3 days (plus travel at both ends) but I did zoom by Brīvības piemineklis to take plain straight-on pictures of all the groupings to have to add to the article. —PētersV (talk) 01:36, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Happy New Year, Pēter :), I think you have to use tag <gallery>, it might be described in help pages (picture tutorial), or just find some gallery (I saw one in Ventspils article, for example) and steal the code from it. I translated it like that because of Siliņš (if you would look trough previous versions you'd see that my first version was artists, because gara darbinieki sounded like having something to do with culture), mind the description of the statues, not the name - these statues symbolize wise men who are thinking, trying to find new ideas and teach others - I think they might be scientists or philosophers and teachers not religious figures, yes, they work spiritualy and shape spirits of others, but spirit can also be preceived as one's mind not just a religious concept (note that it's gara not garīgās, by the way I don't like idea of translating it literally) ~~Xil...sist! 01:56, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Paldies! I took a look at the gallery tag, and the fixed width limited its usefulness for the more "panoramic" elements--which can be accomodated by spanning columns in a table. Using one of the tutorial examples I set up a gallery 4 thumbnails wide. I'll be getting to populating pictures for all the design elements.
  On the other ("Scholars" as translation) I'll think on it some more. :-) I do have a couple of resources I might tap for translation advice, but not immediately available. —PētersV (talk) 05:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Intellectual is probably a better translation, as you mentioned, it's not garigais, so "Scholars" does work. :-) PētersV (talk) 02:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

All done on adding pictures of the sculpture groups and bas-reliefs. —PētersV (talk) 02:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
P.S. And that would be Milda, not Mara, on one of the edit comments, sheesh, that's what I get for skipping coffee. :-) PētersV (talk) 02:59, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Article Queluz National Palace uses a different approach to deal with the map, using mw:Extension:ImageMap perhaps it would be worth to adopt this ? (it could make layout of the article look better, but maybe someone really wants all pictures to be seen in the article ?) ~~Xil...sist! 16:54, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Sveiks! I'm flexible. Since there's no slide show per se (to look thtough the larger images) there are a couple of options. One is use them throughout the text as each grouping is described. The map idea a la Queluz National Palace is good (as another alternative) and I can see that working quite well. One would need to add directions. It's not intuitively obvious that there's anything to click on, the popup with the name of the building/statue doesn't imply click for picture. If the mouse-over could pop up the name PLUS a thumbnail (with a note somewhere permanent or in the popup to click to view image), now THAT would be quite snappy. So, I think it's worth a shot and perhaps it could even be improved upon a bit! :-) —PētersV (talk) 00:04, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure, if thumbnail can be added, but it can be indicated in description of the diagram or the pop up anyway - it just isn't done so in that article, so I'll try it out, when I'll have more time ~~Xil...sist! 10:56, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Relative to the full size image, these might help...
<MAP NAME="map1">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="555,331,611,384" HREF="no1">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="613,329,647,383" HREF="no2">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="554,385,613,424" HREF="no3">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="493,329,552,383" HREF="no4">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="549,290,624,329" HREF="no5">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="649,329,709,384" HREF="no6">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="549,425,626,497" HREF="no7">
<AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="554,213,625,290" HREF="no8">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="685,249,47" HREF="no9">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="676,461,46" HREF="no10">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="492,459,48" HREF="no11">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="493,251,45" HREF="no12">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="370,589,56" HREF="no13">
<AREA SHAPE="CIRCLE" COORDS="366,122,36" HREF="no14">
:-) PētersV (talk) 16:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I think I'll take a stab, if we don't like it we can always revert. :-) PētersV (talk) 23:36, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Done. —PētersV (talk) 01:17, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I'd like to see this at Freedom Monument, as the (Riga) is unnecessary as there is nothing else directly called Freedom Monument. Thoughts?--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 19:42, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Worth a mention?[edit]

A British man was jailed for allegedly urinating on the monument. I'm not saying it warrants inclusion in the article, just thought I'd bring it up so you regulars can make the call. Cheers, faithless (speak) 19:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

No, drunk people happen to urinate on streets, that is too trivial to include it just because someone has chosen notable place to do that ~~Xil...sist! 23:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Trust me, he was only looking for a place to not be waving his willy in the open. There's no other place to hide in the vicinity. Go to Latvia on a stag party. Get drunk. Don't have change to use the toilet at McDonalds, the biggest thing to hide behind. Biological necessity? Yes. Worth mentioning? Nope. —PētersV (talk) 03:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I hear they are making bets on it - apparently they can win more money than they have to pay if they get caught ~~Xil (talk) 12:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Sadly, the bladder doesn't seem to hold as much as the years mount. The next time I'm passing through London on a pub crawl I hope I'm not forced to return the favor at Nelson's Column. ;-) —PētersV (talk) 14:06, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, I see no need to drop that low - I'm sure they do fine job on their own. Now what I heard was word of mouth, could be just a rumor, but I acctualy am flexible enough to have considered mentioning this (besides I believe that now I can quote Mareks Segliņš) - I don't see where we could put it, if we would decide to include it ~~Xil (talk) 19:08, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Latvian euro coins related articles[edit]

How is the Freedom Monuement related to the Latvian Euro? Now I didn't read the whole article but the lead says nothing about the Latvian Euro.Ilikepie2221 (talk) 02:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

It is depicted on one of the coins, just take a look at that article as well ~~Xil...sist! 10:23, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see it. Thanks for clearing that up. Ilikepie2221 (talk) 23:53, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

An interesting day on main page (March 23, 2008)[edit]

Well, I suppose the vandalism and alusions to phallicism were to be expected. That said, I wish to thank the visiting editors who took the time not only to revert vandalisms, but to make copy edit improvements. —PētersV (talk) 23:42, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to remove date-autoformatting[edit]

Dear fellow contributors

MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether or not dates are autoformatted. MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.

There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:

Disadvantages of date-autoformatting

  • (1) In-house only
  • (a) It works only for the WP "elite".
  • (b) To our readers out there, it displays all-too-common inconsistencies in raw formatting in bright-blue underlined text, yet conceals them from WPians who are logged in and have chosen preferences.
  • (c) It causes visitors to query why dates are bright-blue and underlined.
  • (2) Avoids what are merely trivial differences
  • (a) It is trivial whether the order is day–month or month–day. It is more trivial than color/colour and realise/realize, yet our consistency-within-article policy on spelling (WP:ENGVAR) has worked very well. English-speakers readily recognise both date formats; all dates after our signatures are international, and no one objects.
  • (3) Colour-clutter: the bright-blue underlining of all dates
  • (a) It dilutes the impact of high-value links.
  • (b) It makes the text slightly harder to read.
  • (c) It doesn't improve the appearance of the page.
  • (4) Typos and misunderstood coding
  • (a) There's a disappointing error-rate in keying in the auto-function; not bracketing the year, and enclosing the whole date in one set of brackets, are examples.
  • (b) Once autoformatting is removed, mixtures of US and international formats are revealed in display mode, where they are much easier for WPians to pick up than in edit mode; so is the use of the wrong format in country-related articles.
  • (c) Many WPians don't understand date-autoformatting—in particular, how if differs from ordinary linking; often it's applied simply because it's part of the furniture.
  • (5) Edit-mode clutter
  • (a) It's more work to enter an autoformatted date, and it doesn't make the edit-mode text any easier to read for subsequent editors.
  • (6) Limited application
  • (a) It's incompatible with date ranges ("January 3–9, 1998", or "3–9 January 1998", and "February–April 2006") and slashed dates ("the night of May 21/22", or "... 21/22 May").
  • (b) By policy, we avoid date autoformatting in such places as quotations; the removal of autoformatting avoids this inconsistency.

Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. Does anyone object if I remove it from the main text (using a script) in a few days’ time on a trial basis? The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. Tony (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Whatever gets us to displaying all dates in an article in the reader's preferred format is fine. Personally, dates should not be displayed as links at all. Since date ranges are common, standard syntax should be expanded to deal with that appropriately. This should not need to be rocket science with mountains of debate behind it. (!) —PētersV (talk) 13:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, I won't apply the script, since I think you're saying you value reader preference over the disadvantages listed in the cap above. Please let me know if my assumption is wrong. BTW, preferences are only ever displayed for registered, preference-set and logged-in WPians. Thanks. Tony (talk) 08:04, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi, Tony -- It would be simpler if you could just point me to an article where the script was run so I can take a look at the before and after. Your point on date preferences working only for registered and logged-in users is noted! Thanks. Feel free to respond here or on my talk. —PētersV (talk) 23:14, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Please, answer here too, I don't have any preference (though linking some dates might be relevant), but I want to see how this will end and I am not watching other user's talk pages ~~Xil (talk) 11:56, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I happen to have comparisons handy from a Featured List. You may wish to compare the previous autoformatted version with the cleaned-up version. Scrolling down side by side is best, but the difference is clear by comparing one after the other, too. What do you think? Tony (talk) 13:53, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I think it looks a lot cleaner. The real answer, to use an example from the current page...
Indeed, on <a href="/wiki/June_14" title="June 14">June 14</a>, <a href="/wiki/1987" title="1987">1987</a> about 5,000 people gathered at the monument
is that just as there are ID=nametag styles for WP navigational components, there should be a CLASS=date style which leaves the link (and autoformats if desired, with autoformatting needing a bit more work for date ranges) but which turns off the link formatting so it appears as normal undecorated text. As that's not likely to happen soon, as I said, it looks much cleaner--other than for those people who have chosen to create an account, login, and set their date syntax to something other than conventional usage, it removes a lot of the link clutter that detracts from links which are actually useful. I support your running the script. :-) —PētersV (talk) 15:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Image copyrights[edit]

Someone on Latvian Wikipedia recently brought up idea that copyright term is determined by the laws that were in force when the work was created, rather than modern laws and interwar copyright in Latvia was 50 years. On one hand I don't want to go ahead and argue, since modern term will end soon anyway, on other hand maybe we can get images undeleted ? ~~Xil (talk) 09:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

If it's the pictures I uploaded, someone decided they were better suited for Commons, however, I had an attribute tag on the pictures, not PD, so someone may have came along and then deleted them. I've been remiss in uploading them again or getting them undeleted. Unfortunately I don't upload enough that I've got a dedicated folder, so have to find them on my home server all over again... VЄСRUМВА  ☎  17:18, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not because of wrong tag, but because someone figured there is no freedom of panorama in Latvia (which I find funny as it implies that many, many people, including those working for goverment, are breaking the law), so you should have placed two tags one to atribute you as author of picture and another clarifying copyrights of the monument ~~Xil (talk) 22:16, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It really depends on where you upload the image. If you decide to upload images to commons, you also have to abide by a much more stringent set of copyright rules, since the set of rules has to encompass all copyright legislation of the world - for example freedom of panorama, which perhaps can be viewed as funny, even though there are many such funny rules in Latvia that are actually enforced. It is not up to Wikipedia to decide whether or not the legislation is enforced, but merely that it exists and can be enforced if someone finds it necessary. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 22:52, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The issue is not if it is enforced or not (BTW it is up to Wikipedia to decide how strictly it interprets law), but if the monument is in Public Domain or not ~~Xil (talk) 14:42, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I know that is not the issue - you brought it up by finding freedom of panorama funny in the first place - that was what I commented on. Whether freedom of panorama or not does not matter if you upload the image to, that is why I wrote it depends on where you upload the image. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 15:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
PS. It is not up to Wikipedia to interpret law, that is up to the courts. It is up to Wikipedia and their lawyers to set up a worst case scenario in accordance to their policies, and that is what they have done by setting up rules that encompasses known copyright legislation of the world. But, since this law may not be enforced in Latvia, Wikipedia cannot really tell how a Latvian court will interpret Latvian legislation without a precedent. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 15:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I uploaded the pictures to EN Wiki, some other person decided to move them to Commons and delete them on EN Wiki (and didn't do a very good job, or the pictures started to get deleted as soon as they were moved to Commons). I'll see what I can do about clarifying the representation of someone's work issue. Otherwise what we are saying is (in the absence of "freedom of panorama") that, for example, I need licensing rights from Kārlis Zāle's heirs to commercially sell a picture of the Freedom Monument. Or a street artist needs licensing rights to sell a painting of the Freedom Monument, etc., etc. Ak vai! VЄСRUМВА  ☎  17:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Sections 36, 37 and 38 of the Latvian copyright law are quite clear. But, without juridical precedence noone can really tell what construes "freedom of panorama" in Latvia, if it exists - it is not mentioned in the law by concept, even though section 25 has been interpreted that way by Wikipedia. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 20:16, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
(od) Per the sections cited (36-38), we know that 70 years expires (re: the Freedom Monument and Zāle) in 2012, taking that to mean (per the strictest interpretation), PD starting with January 1, 2013 with regards to images thereof. Strictly speaking, section 25 says images of works are not allowed without licensing/royalties to the original artist/creator should those be for commercial purposes (there is nothing to prevent someone from re-badging EN:WP and charging admission). So, all those guidebooks with pictures of the Freedom Monument, exactly who did they pay (according to the strictest interpretation of Latvian copyright law)? VЄСRUМВА  ☎  20:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Your last question should be asked the politicians that approved the legislation and the civil servants enforcing it. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 20:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
PS. I would argue that the wording: "Publiskās vietās pastāvīgi izstādīta arhitektūras" is about architecture erected for display, not architecture just erected, which would be worded like this: "Publiskās vietās pastāvīgi uzstādīta arhitektūras", which a court precedence trial had to establish. Furthermore, this trial also has to establish what the term architecture encompasses. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 21:27, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

As mentioned previously in this thread, a solution towards showing an image of the Freedom Monument on Wikipedia is to upload an image to according to the non-free content policy. It may end up that a different image than Peteris' is uploaded - for example an image taken from a vintage postcard of the 1930's. What do you think about this approach? Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 11:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

This law regulates current term of copyrights, not if we should take into account this law or law at the time the monument was built, one acctualy should find a law which regulates if it is retroactive. ~~Xil (talk) 22:24, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That would be interesting if we were to write an article on Latvian copyright legislation. In this case, we (Wikipedia) need to take into account current legislation since that is what we have to be accountable for. To be honest, I have never heard of retroactive legislation in the sence, that alternative legislation exists, and the courts might pick a legislation of whatever fits their needs. I am aware of retroactive legislation that regulates back in time - but, legislation that is not made void by new legislation is a new phenomenon to me - at least in a civilized state of justice. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 09:26, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
PS. On page 32 of the translation of the Latvian copyright law the repealed laws are mentioned, and those repealed laws most certain mention repealed previous legislation from the 1930's. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 10:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
PPS. Let me see, there is also another way of interpreting what you wrote. If you by "retroactive" mean legislation that only regulates for certain time periods, that is not an option. Legislation is universal, so whether you use an image created in let's say 1998, and the current legislation is from 2000, it does not make a difference, since you cannot enforce repealed legislation. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 10:43, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

An approach that might work, ask for a restoration of the images of Latvian monuments at commons and copy them to Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 11:06, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Repealed means that laws that were in force until time this law came into force will no longer be enforced in future, not that they don't apply to time they were enforced - you'll find that line in many Latvian laws, note that second article of these transitional provisions state that terms of copyright provided by this law apply to works which were subject to protection on July 1 1995 (, your translation is slightly out of date) ~~Xil (talk) 17:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I do know what repeal means, that is why I wikilinked to the appropriate article. Hopefully, one finds it (repealed) in all Latvian legislation - it is standard in civilized democratic countries. Well, the translation I use is the very same Wikipedia has based it's policy upon, so that is the version I need to have in mind when I intend to uplaod media to Wikipedia. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 19:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
According to lv:Lietotājs:Zemgalietis, who apparently is a lawyer, it is a general legal principle that no law regulates legal relationships, which existed before it was enforced, unless stated otherwise in the very same law. I believe this is also enforced by article 3 of Latvian Civil law. This law does actually state otherwise as works that were protected in 1995 are subject to terms provided in this law, but then this monument was already in public domain as no prior law had longer term than 50 years and author died in 1942. Translation of the law, even official one, is not enforced and in no way can be deemed to have higher authority just because some online encyclopedia uses outdated translation and even if we consider translated edition - it states that it regulates works that were protected on the day the law came into force i.e. in 2000 ~~Xil (talk) 03:10, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
What exactly is your point? According to Wikipedia there is not freedom of panorama in Latvia, and that is it. If you or anyone else thinks otherwise, please turn your frustrations to Wikipedia and their lawyers, perhaps you can convince them changing Wikipedia policies. With a lawyer on board you should have a good case, yes? My very last 2 cents on this. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 11:48, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Obviously you're the one who does not understand - I never said anything about changing Wikipedia policies or that there is freedom of panorama (I merely noted that everyone finds it absurd). The monument is in public domain (and if I wasn't sure at first now I'm convinced it is), why do we need fair use rationale to use pictures of it and why can't it be on commons ? ~~Xil (talk) 17:37, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
[quote]"I never said anything about changing Wikipedia policies or that there is freedom of panorama (I merely noted that everyone finds it absurd)"[/quote].
And I never said anything about you saying anything of the kind.
In case you wonder:
[quote]"why do we need fair use rationale to use pictures of it and why can't it be on commons?"[/quote]
Because that is what Wikipedia policies prescribes.
If you think that:
[quote]The monument is in public domain (and if I wasn't sure at first now I'm convinced it is)[/quote]
You may try to convince Wikipedia about the same. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 20:58, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Please provide rule that says that public domain images need fair use rationale ~~Xil (talk) 21:51, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Why do you want me to provide rule for something that does not need fair use rationale? Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 22:14, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Because you just said that Wikipedia policies prescribe that it does ~~Xil (talk) 23:40, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
That was not what I wrote. This is what I wrote:
In case you wonder:
[quote]"why do we need fair use rationale to use pictures of it and why can't it be on commons?"[/quote]
Because that is what Wikipedia policies prescribes. Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 01:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
One more time - I am saying "x is in public domain" and you are saying "we need fair use rationale for x" and somehow misteriously that doesn't sum up as "x is in public domain and we need fair use rationale for it" ? Right, I'm done talking to you, in case someone decides to beautify this article, they will have figured how to licence pictures by reading what has been said already ~~Xil (talk) 13:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
"One more time - I am saying "x is in public domain" and you are saying "we need fair use rationale for x" and somehow misteriously that doesn't sum up as "x is in public domain and we need fair use rationale for it" ?
Exactly, and it is not mysterious. "x is in public domain" is according to your hypothesis. What you miss out on in your equation is the fact that Wikipedia has policies that says otherwise, according to Wikipedia (and they call the shots) the image is not public domain (it becomes public domain 2013 as Pēteris correctly stated elsewhere), and it was deleted because there is not FOP in Latvia. Now, if your hypothesis on Latvian copyright laws holds water you may present it to Wikipedia and perhaps they will change their policies, until then we must abide to the policies Wikipedia has provided. May you have a nice day as well! Talk/♥фĩłдωəß♥\Work 15:20, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
So, do we know what language to include whether I can re-upload the files on WP:EN or we manage to get them undeleted? VЄСRUМВА  ☎  03:55, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I still assume you can ask for them to be undeleted, we discussed this, among other things, in Philaweb's talk page on Latvian Wikipedia, if you are interested ~~Xil (talk) 04:47, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll see if I can figure out how to do that. I missed the WP LV conversation, I don't really have anything on my watchlist there. VЄСRUМВА  ☎  20:34, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Why wachlist ? Activity there is so small that you can see everything in recent changes, and you just have to go to his user talk - lv:Lietotāja diskusija:Philaweb ~~Xil (talk) 13:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

File:Monumento a la Libertad, Riga, Letonia, 2012-08-07, DD 10.JPG to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Monumento a la Libertad, Riga, Letonia, 2012-08-07, DD 10.JPG will be appearing as picture of the day on January 1, 2015. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2015-01-01. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:31, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Freedom Monument
The Freedom Monument is a memorial located in Riga, Latvia, which honors the soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence. Designed by Kārlis Zāle and unveiled in 1935, this 42-metre (138 ft) monument includes thirteen groups of statues and bas-reliefs depicting Latvian culture and history. At the top is a 19-metre (62 ft)-high travertine column bearing the copper figure of Liberty lifting three gilded stars. Following Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940, the monument was considered for demolition but ultimately saved. It remains a focal point for public gatherings and official ceremonies.Monument: Kārlis Zāle; photograph: Diego Delso

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