Soviet memorial plaques will be removed in Vilnius

The Vilnius City Council has approved the removal of memorial plaques that still contain texts in Russian or refer to, for example, the LSSR. 13 plaques will be replaced by standard commemorative plaques and returned to their original locations, while 3 of them will be completely removed.

Memorial plaques throughout the city were reviewed on the initiative of the Vilnius City Historical Memory Commission, which found 16 plaques containing Soviet relics. For more information about these plaques, see the “Vilnius DNA” portal (Vilnius DNR).

“We are consistently reviewing the various symbols, monuments, names, memorial plaques in the public space that commemorate historic events. We assess what these symbols say to us in today’s context. This decision is aimed at getting rid of memorial plaques that are in Russian, replacing them with new, typical memorial plaques of Vilnius city.  Vilnius is already in the process of shaking off the imprint of the hammer and sickle ideology”, says Kamilė Šeraitė-Gogelienė, Chair of the Vilnius Historical Memory Commission.

The City will renew the memorial plaques to Antanas Račiūnas (at A. Mickevičius St. 33), Borisas Dauguvietis (at V. Mykolaitis-Putinas St. 8), Juozas Lingys (at A. Vienuolio St. 14), Balys Dvarionas (at Vasario 16-osios St. 17), Valentinas Adamkevičius (at A. Vienuolio St. 14), Mykolas Bukša (at Vasario 16-osios St. 17), Juozas Rudzinskas (at A. Goštauto St. 2/15), Jonas Švedas (at Tilto St. 7), Juozas Karosas (at Birutės St. 9A), Romualdas Juknevičius (at A. Vienuolio St. 14), Bronius Kelbauskas (at A. Vienuolio St. 14), Steponas Jukna (at A. Vienuolio St. 14) and Kipras Petrauskas (at Raseinių St. 14).

The plaques installed during the Soviet era are dedicated to cultural and artistic figures, thus various organisations of artists, such as the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, the Lithuanian Writers’ Union, the Lithuanian Theatre Union, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, and the Institute of Literature and Folklore of Lithuania, were contacted in writing. These organisations submitted proposals for removing and replacing plaques, also recommending texts for replacement plaques.

After assessing the personalities to whom the plaques were dedicated and their activities during the Soviet era, a decision was made to completely remove several plaques instead of replacing them. These include the plaques to the music teacher Juozas Banaitis (at Beržyno Street 5), the poet-novelist Teofilis Tilvytis (at Dominikonų Street 1) and the theatre actor Vasilijus Ivanovičius Kačialovas (at Didžioji Street 14). The removed plaques have been given away to UAB Grinda for storage.

Marketing and Communication Department, vrt@vilnius.lt