Tõnis Lukas is 2016 Postimees Person of the Year

January 09, 2017

On Friday, January 6, the chief editor of Postimees, Lauri Hussar, officially declared the year of the 160th anniversary of Postimees open and announced the winner of the 2016 Postimees Person of the Year title. The honorable title went to Tõnis Lukas for his contribution to the completion of the building of the Estonian National Museum that was opened last fall.

Presenting the title, Postimees Editor-in-Chief Lauri Hussar said that with the completion of the new building of the Estonian National Museum (ERM) at Raadi last year one of the big dreams of the Estonian people was fulfilled.

”It has been a dream that thousands of people have been working for. It has been a dream of which it has been said that it is the storehouse of the self-confidence of the Estonian people,” Hussar said.

Speaking of the role of Lukas in the completion of the building of ERM, Hussar said that his path leading to the new building of the museum extends over more than a quarter of a century. For the first time, Lukas led a march to Raadi within the framework of the events of the 1988 Tartu Heritage Days. Also the previous ERM exhibits' building was completed under his guidance in 1994.

The chief editor of Postimees observed that the new building of ERM has shifted the balance point of Estonia a little bit to the south from the north and that the investment made in the building represents the biggest individual investment made by the Estonian state in South Estonia.

Receiving the title, Lukas said that he feels just like an Estonian man would do in a difficult situation – awkward, yet understanding that actually the award is a recognition for ERM, personalized through his person.

”In fact this is a recognition for the collective of the year, the team, the team spirit – for the workers of ERM,” said Lukas. According to the museum director, last year was a frenetic year for everybody at ERM, as it was not only the location of the museum that changed, but also its role, management and the whole organization, and it all had to be gone through under big public attention.

Lukas emphasized that ERM is not yet finished at all and will actually never be finished. Issues having to do with putting the new organization to work still need to be solved. The main goal this year is to prove one's worth as a scientific institution, he said.

This was the 20th time for Postimees to choose the Person of the Year. The title is accompanied by a glass sculpture by Ivo Lill.

The title of Person of the Year is awarded by Postimees to recognize outstanding individuals whose actions will go down in history.

The previous winners of the title are:

2015 – film producer Ivo Felt

2014 – conductor Hirvo Surva

2013 – Mart Noorma, project manager for EstCube-1 student satellite

2012 – Urmas Dresen, director of the Estonian Maritime Museum

2011 – Anne Sulling and Hannu Lamp, organizers of the sale of Estonia's surplus carbon dioxide emission credits

2010 – Tanel Laisaar, leader of the surgical team that performed the first ever lung transplant operation in Estonia

2009 – Sofi Oksanen, writer

2008 – Gerd Kanter, Olympic champion

2007 – Marina Kaljurand, then Estonian ambassador to Moscow

2006 – the team behind the film ”Lotte from Gadgetville”

2005 – Tarmo Soomere, the scientist who forecast the January 2005 storm and coastal flooding in Estonia

2004 – Estonian soldier in Iraq

2003 – Alar Sikk, the first Estonian to climb the summit of Mount Everest

2002 – Andrus Veerpalu, Olympic champion

2001 – Ivar Must, author of Estonia's winning Eurovision Song Contest entry ”Everybody”

2000 – Ilmar Petersen, CEO of Elcoteq Tallinn

1999 – Andres Metspalu, initiator of the Estonian Genome Center project

1998 – Linnar Viik, IT visionary

1997 – Ardo Hansson, economics expert

Source: Postimees