I take these photos of random sculptures and statues as it’s a reminder for me to find out more about the individuals involved with them. The statue is of George and Cecile Armitstead, along with their dog, and it was unveiled in 2006 by HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal couple were on their first state visit to Latvia, and it adds another dimension to the statue for me that they unveiled it.
Armitstead, who was the son of a British MP who later became a Lord, was the Mayor of Riga between 1901 and 1912. Riga was part of Russia at the time and Armitstead was invited by Tsar Nicholas II to become the Mayor of St. Petersburg, although this offer was declined.
Armitstead was seen to have been a successful Mayor, having overseen the development of numerous innovations including the new theatre, art museum, hospital, zoo and the electric tram network. He is also seen as one of the most successful British exports to Riga, and just before his death he was awarded the title of being an honorary citizen of the city.
Armitstead’s dog, very sweet! The statue was designed and produced by Andris Varpa and Kristine Vizina.