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Roberts Mūks Museum in Galēni


Skolas Street 11c, Galēni, Preiļi Municipality
Phone: +371 25625621

Lat: 56.4752274, Lon: 26.8435269

Galēni, Preiļi Municipality, The mission of the museum is to popularize the heritage of Roberts Mūks, who had a very extraordinary character, to make the ordinary life of Latvian citizens more exciting and interesting.

Address: 11c Skolas Street, Galēni, Preiļi Municipality, phone number +371 28445338 e-mail:

Since 2000, up until his passing in 2006, Galēni Rural Territory and school had a good relationship with Roberts Mūks (Avens), a poet and religion historian, who was born here in 1923 and spent many years in exile. After his passing, a generous donation of his widow, Elza Avena, was received together with a message, to create a museum in Galēni for the philosopher and poet Roberts Mūks. The donation consists of memorial items of Mūks, his writings, part of his library, furniture, work desk, typing machine, pipe and tie collections, awards, art creations, photographs, letters, clothing, etc. Later, after moving to the USA, the widow Elza Avens added more items, by sending documents of Roberts Mūks: his passports, marriage and death certificates, the member card of Association of Writers, photographs, letters, memorabilia. At first, the gifts of Elza Avens were put in the small hall of Galēni Culture centre. On June 27, 2007, in 11c Skolas Street, a Memorial room of Roberts Mūks was opened. Roberts Mūks was buried in Galēni cemetery, and the residents of Galēni have taken on the responsibility to maintain the memorial place, that is why a “Galeni society of history and culture” was created and funds were being raised for the creation of R.Mūks grave memorial. The creation and installation of it was financially supported by PBLA and Riebiņi Municipality council. Nowadays everyone can view a grave memorial stone of the historian and poet, created by sculptor Māra Kalniņa in Galēni cemetery. The celebration of its installation was held on June 18, 2008. With the help of Galēni society of history and culture, the area was greened and his grave – maintained. The split cross in the brown boulder stone symbolizes the split life of the philosopher – home and exile, love – hate, looking for truth – lies, happiness – sadness, luck – unluck, life – death. Galēni has the house in which Roberts Mūks was born. In April 2001, a memorial plaque was put on it, that informs, that here on January 14, 1923, a poet and philosopher Roberts Mūks (Avens) was born. The creating and installation of the plaque was funded by PBLA, but the project was created by the 7th grade pupils of Galēni Elementary School. Because in Galēni there is the home of Roberts Mūks, his grave, a Memorial room with a wide array of memorabilia, a Roberts Mūks museum was opened on April 18, 2013, which was based on the items of the Memorial room. On May 8, 2014, the Ministry of Culture of Latvia gave the museum an accreditation certificate No.120 that explains, that the museum has been recognized by the state from May 8, 2014 till May 7, 2019. The mission of the museum is to popularize the heritage of Roberts Mūks, who had a very extraordinary character, to make the ordinary life of Latvian citizens more exciting and interesting. The exposition is created in a way to resemble how the surroundings of Roberts Mūks looked like during his life. Everyone can see how the remarkable philosopher worked and lived, and can feel his presence through his heritage. There in the museum are books that Roberts Mūks was reading, in which he gained inspiration for his own works and in which he was looking for affirmations of his thoughts and answers to his questions, and a desk by which he was working. There are his notes, writings, writing accessories, glasses and pipe set, tobacco bowl, and two owls – a glass and ceramic owl. Those have always been on his desk. In the shelves is stored the library of Roberts Mūks. Firstly, all of his works are found there: books and publications in Latvian and English. Secondly, books with autographs. Roberts Mūks was always loved by Latvian writers, poets, literature critics and philosophers. They always gave him their books with included special messages for Mūks. There are books of authors who lived in exile and those, who resided in Latvia. Take a look at the messages in the books to gain a new perspective of Latvian authors! Thirdly, there are lots of Latvian and foreign literature, philosophy, dictionaries and informative literature, special literature, folklore and religious publications. There are also manuscripts, both written by hand and by typewriter, lots of photos, that show the life of Roberts Mūks since childhood up until his passing. There we see the poet and philosopher in a family, together with his classmates, friends, relatives, authors, like-minded people. The photos show the most important moments of Mūks life. Here you can get acquinted with the letters written by Mūks, and ones he received. Many authors and poets wrote poems in honor of Mūks. The philosopher also collected articles from newspapers, where his publications, interviews, reviews and articles about him were written. Of course, it is important to tell about a drawing “Mūks “Elles ķēķī”” (“Mūks in the “Hell’s Kitchen””) by Fridrihs Milts. On a chocolate box with a pen a bohemian atmosphere in which Mūks often resided was drawn. This picture has always been in the office of the philosopher, by his awards. An exhibition in name of R.Mūks “Man vajadzīgi griesti, lai nekāptu debesīs (R.Mūks” (“I need a ceiling to not to step into the skies (R.Mūks)”). In this exhibition there were three parts, “In Latvia”, “In exhile” and “Back in Latvia”, that show the story of his life and opinions. A collection of his ties and pipes is shown there, as well as his awards (Triju Zvaigžņu (Three Star) Order, “Labā zvaigzne” (“Good Star”), a medal worked into glass, a candlestick), as well as other memorabilia: documents, notes, address book, typewriters, etc. Here one can see the passport of the Republic of Latvia, that was made and given to Roberts Avens Mūks in 1947 in Embassy of Latvia in London. On the walls there are diplomas of Roberts Mūks that state that he is a graduate of Brussels University, majoring in philosophy, in French language, Michigan and Fordham universities in English. The living room has a sofa, chairs, two coffee tables and a nightshade of Roberts Mūks, there is artwork on the walls, wall décor and Latgallian pottery. The Latvian ornaments in wall decors, on the pillows, on the blankets, pots, and a certain color scheme that is visible in all items - all of this shows the importance of his Latvian origins for Mūks.



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