Latvian President Andris Bērziņš met on March 20 with Her Majesty Sylvia, Queen of Sweden, to discuss the bilateral partnership between the two countries, plans for Rīga and Umeå as the European Capitals of Culture in 2014, and the importance of a mentoring programme in which the queen is involved.
Both officials agreed that cultural links between Latvia and Sweden at this time are particularly focused on the important status of European Capital of Culture, as assigned to Rīga and Umeå in 2014. The President called for active co-operation between the two cities and added that he hopes that members of the Swedish royal family will visit Rīga and Latvia during the course of the year.
Once of the guidelines for Rīga as European Capital of Culture will be amber. Scientists have not yet answered all questions which relate to the potential of amber in various areas of the exact sciences. Dr Inga Ļašenko at the Rīga Technical University has invented a unique new amber thread. It was used as part of a gift which President Bērziņš presented to Queen Sylvia at the end of their meeting – a shawl which is made of cashmere and delicate amber thread which also helps to improve the wearer’s health. The design on the shawl is adapted from an ornament that is on Queen Sylvia’s crown.