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Sākumlapa NewsJelgava receives an exclusive gift from its sister city Rueil-Malmaison
Jelgava receives an exclusive gift from its sister city Rueil-Malmaison

In gratitude for the 17 years of long-standing friendship and successful cooperation in various areas, the sister city of Jelgava in France, Rueil-Malmaison, has arranged an exclusive gift for our city – the large gates of the fence of the Jelgava Holy Trinity Church tower, crafted according to historical gate photographs. On Saturday, in the presence of the sister city delegation, the gates were ceremoniously unveiled. “This is a wonderful testament to the friendship between our two cities. Jelgava expresses great gratitude to you for this valuable gift and for recognizing the historical significance of the gates of the Jelgava Holy Trinity Church tower and allowing this object to regain its historical large gates,” thanked the Chairman of the Jelgava City Council, Andris Rāviņš.

“The friendship that has developed between our cities – Jelgava and Rueil-Malmaison – is very stable. Just like these metal gates. I want to say that let these gates symbolically open up many new common opportunities and projects in the future. Let us have even more exchange programs, even closer cooperation in various areas. We are truly pleased to see how the city has developed over the years, how it has changed, and now, by donating gates, we have also left our mark,” said former French minister, Mayor of the sister city Rueil-Malmaison, President of the Greater Paris Metropolitan Area, and Deputy Chairman of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games Organization Committee for 2024, Patrick Ollier. When unveiling the gates, P. Ollier symbolically presented the key to the gates to the Chairman of the Jelgava City Council.”


“The design of the large gate of the fence was developed based on the study of historical gate photographs and coordinated with the existing small gates to create a unified architectural ensemble. In the process, recommendations and suggestions from the National Cultural Heritage Administration were taken into account.


The large fence gates are made of filled metal and weigh approximately 450 kilograms, reaching a height of three meters at their highest point, with a width of 2.5 meters. Symbolically appreciating the friendship between the two cities, the Jelgava coat of arms is embedded on one side of the gates, while the Rueil-Malmaison coat of arms is on the other. This exclusive gift for Jelgava was made by metalworking masters from Rueil-Malmaison in the city’s municipal workshop. The main author of the gates is the blacksmith Antonio Diass, under whose direction many, including intricate, metal gates in Rueil-Malmaison, were designed, manufactured, and installed. A. Diass inherited the blacksmithing profession from his father and continues this craft today with great responsibility and care. He explains that four masters worked on the gate making in France, and a total of approximately 400 hours were spent on the project. “This was a challenging and creative project that we worked on periodically for year. The most challenging aspect was definitely the process of reconciling sketches to ensure our ideas aligned with the historical appearance of the gates – the tower of the Jelgava Holy Trinity Church is a cultural monument, and it imposes its conditions. The most interesting part for us was to make all the curved details, which is a complete blacksmith’s handiwork and demonstrates its craftsmanship. I hope that our friendship between our two cities remains as stable and long-lasting as these metal gates,” says the gate’s author, A. Diass. It should be noted that the gates were manufactured in France and delivered to Jelgava this week. A. Diass, together with the head of the Rueil-Malmaison municipal workshop, Eric Dupuis, also installed the gates.


As people pass through the gates, they are encouraged to close them so that the coat of arms of both cities can be well observed from both sides.


It should be added that the twinning agreement between Jelgava and Rueil-Malmaison, whith cooperation in the fields of education, science, technology, civil protection, crisis management, city infrastructure monitoring, culture, sports, healthcare, human resources, and business, was signed in June 2007. To date, the closest cooperation between the two cities has been in the field of education, with teachers and students participating in exchange trips, acquiring new skills, methods, and getting acquainted with a different approach to implementing the educational process. The longest-running cooperation is between the Jelgava Vocational Secondary School and the Rueil-Malmaison Training Center for Metalworking and Construction. Over the years, more than 140 young people have had internships in France, and more than 100 have been received in our city. Similarly, successful cooperation exists between the art schools of both cities.