Latvia is honoring the doctors, nurses, and medical workers on the front lines in the fight against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, with a giant statue in the nation’s capital.
Artist Aigars Bikše unveiled the statue on June 16 at a ceremony outside the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga. The statue, which is almost 20 feet tall (6 meters), shows a female medical worker in a lab coat, mask, and gloves stretching her arms toward the sky with her eyes closed. She’s wearing pink clogs and has a stethoscope around her neck.
Bikše, the artist behind the sculpture, titled “Medics to the World,” told Reuters it took about three months to create. The sculptor said that he was inspired by seeing the relentless heroic sacrifices the health care workers were making to save their patients.
“I was watching the news, I was watching how medics met great difficulties in Italy, how they slept on hospital floors, how their faces were wounded due to wearing masks for long hours. I understood that I, as an artist, as a sculptor, should say something,” he said, according to a Reuters translation.
According to Latvian Public Broadcasting, LSM.lv, the organizers of the initiative said: “The people of Latvia are thankful to the medics in Latvia and all over the world for their selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic and have put up a monument by a famous Latvian artist to health care personnel, supported by donations of almost 20 local companies.”
Bikše, who is also a professor at the Art Academy of Latvia, said that a lot of people in the country have for the first time realized the importance of health care workers and in the three-month lockdown period changed their perspective toward them.
“The wellbeing of the society requires concerted and responsible action. It means that everyone follows expert advice—maintaining social distance, washing hands, and while medical staff take care of the infected,” Dita Raiska, the president of the Latvian Nurses Association, said at the unveiling ceremony. “I am pleased that the Latvian people are aware of this responsibility and I am pleased to see that the people have appreciated our work.”
People all over the world have been showing their appreciation for health care workers during the global pandemic.
In many cities, residents have come out to celebrate in the night on their balconies and doorsteps to cheer for hospital staff and other essential workers.
Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated to look like a doctor on Easter Sunday in honor of health care workers and a face mask was projected onto it last month to encourage people to protect themselves from the virus.
Latvia, which borders Russia in Northern Europe, has reported 1,111 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 30 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.