The best artistic idea of monument to Juozas Lukša-Daumantas was selected

Išrinkta geriausia paminklinio objekto Juozui Lukšai-Daumantui meninė idėja

Nuotr. Sauliaus Žiūros

The monument “Miškinis” (en. Forest Man) will give a sense to the memory of Juozas Lukša-Daumantas, participant in fights for freedom, as it will be erected in the square of his name opened last year in Žirmūnai. The best artistic idea was selected from four tenders.

The idea “Miškinis” (authors – sculptor Gediminas Piekuras and architects from UAB “Architektūros linija”, Gintaras Čaikauskas and Ieva Kontautaitė) that has received the biggest number of points in the competition reminds of the building on Žygio street where the Lithuanian Anti-Soviet Partisan Management Centre was operating once– Headquarters of Armed Forces (J. Lukša-Daumantas square in the crossing of Apkasų and Tuskulėnų streets). The floating volume of the foundation of the building that has not survived is a hint to the fact that the location is not accurate. The volume is directed westwards symbolically, where to J. Lukša-Daumantas had gone several times to search for aid for fighting. Each edge of the foundation reflects different identities of the partisan that helped him to fight for freedom: Miškinis, Vytis, Kazimieras, Skirmantas, Kęstutis, Arminas, Skrajūnas, S. Mykolaitis.

The monument also contains a symbol of a forest – a shelter of partisans, a symbol of forest brothers that is also linked to one of his pseudonyms – “Forest Man”. Five oaks planted by the monument will remind of five years of Daumantas’ resistance. Big attention is also drawn to the light that not only helps to highlight the object’s idea and induces the interest, but that also has a symbolic meaning. It is a positive side of the history, an attempt to remain visible and significant in the present context.

The authors wanted to continue the commemoration concept of the famous Lithuanian resistant started in this place already. They did not attempt to create additional drama in the environment but preferred to maintain the present mood of the square and adjusted themselves to the already present elements – recently planted oak, erected information table. The new monument merged with the environment will become a part of this public space in the city – a green square.

“I am very happy that the winner idea is telling forcibly and clearly the history of the fights for freedom in the city and in Lithuania through the symbols of personal fight of J. Lukša-Daumantas, – says Vice Mayor of Vilnius City, Tomas Gulbinas. –The new monument will testify our pride in the fighters for freedom and legacy of J. Lukša-Daumantas. When we announced the competition, the Russian military aggression against Ukraine was not started yet, so, the monument’s meaning only got stronger now. We all have the duty not to forget that we are free and to covey that freedom to future generations.”

When Vilnius City was preparing the conditions for the competition, it determined the precise location of the house, where this fighter for freedom tended to come. The city plan of 1398 was compared in the geoinformation system to the photo of the city made from the air in 1944 and when the result was compared to the present situation, it was determined that J. Lukša-Daumantas was operating in a wooden one-floor house with attic and that he location of that house was by the present multi-flat building on Minties str. 6.

The researchers determined that the Headquarters of Armed Forces were operating in the conspiration flat at Žygio str. 85a in November-December 1946, where J. Lukša-Daumantas, member of the Command of Tauras District and student of the Faculty of Architecture was also working. When the treachery of the headquarters’ founder, agent provocateur Juozas Markulis the Eagle was learnt, J. Lukša left Vilnius successfully and continued fighting near Kaunas. The wooden house was demolished before 1966, when a new multi-flat building was built.

“The authors succeeded to solve a very difficult puzzle – how to give a sense to the place of resistance fights marked by treachery using the artistic means, – commented the Chief Architect of Vilnius City, Mindaugas Pakalnis. – When we remember this difficult episode of fights of J. Lukša-Daumantas that also reflects the reality of that period, we are going to see a composition, where new powerful oaks – the symbols of the Lithuanian rebirth and unstoppable striving for freedom – are arising from the conditional foundations of the traitor’s house as if the frame chaining the freedom.”

Three more tenders were made for the monument – “Trident, “Burning”, and “Waltz of Freedom” (one of them did not satisfy the qualification requirements). The ideas were assessed according to the following criteria: artistic conception and expression, its aesthetical quality, social impact and functionality of artistic solutions, rational fulfilment of the programme. The respective points were awarded according to the description provided in the competition conditions.

The tenders for the competition were evaluated by the Chief Architect of Vilnius City, M. Pakalnis, architect Darius Linartas, sculptors Mindaugas Šnipas, Algirdas Kuzma, Vidas Simanavičius and historian Norbertas Černiauskas. They were reviewed by architect Kazimieras Reimeris and sculptor Aušra Jasiukevičiūtė.

The team of authors of the idea “Miškinis” that received the majority of points has already won the competition for signs of memory of the rebels of 1863 in the territory of the reserve of the Castles (by the tower of Gediminas hill). Sculptor G. Piekuras has also created the sculpture of J. Basanavičius with another team of architects. Architect Gintaras Čaikauskas has created the reconstruction project of former partisan command post in the farm of Juozas Jakavonis the Tiger.

After verifying the documents submitted by the tenderers, the Commission of Public Procurements will announce the final winners of the competition, to whom the prizes will be awarded: 10 000 euro for the first place, 7500 euro for the second place, and 5000 euro for the third place.

The winner of the competition will be invited to unannounced negotiations for implementation of the artistic idea.

The square of Juozas Lukša-Daumantas was opened in Žirmūnai last November. Several functional zines with seats and a playground for children were formed; the plants were renewed, as well as covers of pedestrian and cycleways. More than 50 new trees and bushes were planted in the territory. It will connect the green spaces and will turn into green corridors. Old pedestrian ways were reconstructed in the square, a new cycleway was arranged, the modern lighting and small architecture were renewed.

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