A solemn ceremony was held in the House of Signatories in Old Town Vilnius on Sunday to inaugurate the exhibition of the February 16 1918 Independence Act brought to Lithuania from Germany.
House of Signatories
© V.Kandroto nuotr.

"It was here, in this building, that our freedom was born a hundred years ago. Twenty men had the courage to declare our unconditional independence. This is what inspired us to do the same on March 11 – declare unconditional independence," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the opening. "It always takes brave people and a brave nation that can defend, fight, win back, preserve and, if needed, restore freedom and independence."

The president thanked Liudas Mažylis, professor of the Vytautas Magnus University who located the historic document in the German diplomatic archives in Berlin last March, and Germany for handing over the document.

"Today we are proud to be able to grateful to Lithuanians: Lithuanian professor Mažylis who discovered the document. We thank our partner and friend Germany that preserved the document and gave it to us on our centennial anniversary so that we could show the document to our people," said Grybauskaitė.

The president and Mažylis together opened the door to the room that will feature the document, while the act was unveiled together with Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader and speaker of Lithuania's Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas.

The Independence Act is exhibited in the same room where it was signed by members of the Lithuanian Council in 1918.

Lithuania and Germany last year signed an agreement on handover of the act to Lithuania for five years, at the most, with storage of the document updated on an annual basis. Under the deal, the document could be exhibited in Kaunas in 2022, when the Lithuanian second city becomes the European Capital of Culture.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Lukiskes prison in Vilnius gears up for popular Netflix's series

The 4th season of the Netflix drama Stranger Things will be shot in Vilnius , with preparations...

Lukiškės Prison: bringing the past into the future

The prison complex in Lukiškės has always been a multifunctional space. At the time of its...

Lithuanian actor and director Sabulis dies

Lithuanian theater and movie actor Remigijus Sabulis has died at the age of 65, his colleague...

Gaon and Gimbutiene anniversaries put on UNESCO list

The anniversaries of two people from Lithuania have been put on the UNESCO list of anniversaries for...

Lutheran church rebuilding project will be granted special status in Klaipeda

The project aimed at rebuilding St John's Church with its tower in the Lithuanian coastal city of...