Translation of Vilnius City Council’s 25 Aug. 2021 ‘Shameful Resolution’ on Old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery


VILNIUS—The following is Defending History’s translation of the text of today’s Vilnius City Council resolution posted on its website. See our report, and the earlier news of the prime minister’s widely heralded cancellation of CCC (“convention center in the cemetery”) to which this resolution is a direct response. See esp. the paragraph colored red below for rapid reference, where the resolution condemns the government’s “abandonment” of the CCC.





August 25, 2021, No. 41


Vilnius City Council,

Bearing in mind that

in the general plan of the Vilnius municipality territory, as well as in other strategic documents, the goal is set to have a Vilnius Congress Center in the city that would meet international standards and be established by reconstructing a protected building of unique architecture, thus creating an object of infrastructure unique in its function and capacity;

to achieve the city’s and the state’s common goals, important heritage objects must be preserved: Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports, built in 1971 (unique code in the Real Heritage Registry: 17,400), and the state-protected site of the Old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery in Šnipiškės (unique code in the Real Heritage Registry: 31,812), which must be preserved and adapted for respectful use;

The Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports was built for concerts and, after its reconstruction, would perfectly meet contemporary requirements for congresses; the building, which is in the very center of the city and is well seen from the main panoramic viewpoints, cannot be adapted to any other function than the one foreseen in its unique original plan;

in its July 8, 2020, decree No. 1-607, “On the ratification of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration and State Enterprise Turto Bankas Joint Venture (Partnership) Contract”, Vilnius City Council  approved the Vilnius City Municipality’s participation in the project of arrangement of the site of the Old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery in Šnipiškės, which includes the tidying-up of the Old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery in Šnipiškės and the reconstruction of the Vilnius Congress Center, carried out in a territory of 4.8829 hectares, which consists of the 2.1513 hectare plot of land entrusted to be administered by the State Enterprise Turto Bankas, on which the Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports stands (the territory included in the project without the area taken up by the Palace is 1.2289 hectares), and two plots of land administered by Vilnius City Municipality, respectively of 0.4960 and 2.2356 hectares (together comprising 2.7316 hectares);

Vilnius City Municipality has initiated the arrangement project of the part of the Vilnius Old Cemetery in Šnipiškės to the south of Olimpiečių Street, dedicated to respectful commemoration of the Cemetery’s history by exhibiting fragments of tombstones from various destroyed Jewish cemeteries;

Vilnius does not have a conference center that would fully meet the requirements of international conference organizers, hence larger international events, which would also be the most financially lucrative, have so far not taken place in the capital of Lithuania;

the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has announced its abandonment of plans to reconstruct Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports, hence the city will continue losing the income that could be provided by conference tourism;

both the current condition of the building and its conservation by cosmetic repairs demonstrate lack of respect for the history of Vilnius and the history of Lithuanian Jews, as well as creating an urban desert in Vilnius city center;

abandonment of the Vilnius Congress Center and Arrangement of the Old Vilnius Jewish Cemetery in Šnipiškės project means that the building, which is now in dire condition, will be condemned to collapse, and the abandoned site of the cemetery in the very center of the city will not be opened to studies of history of Vilnius and respectful use,

Urge the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and other respective state institutions to ensure the continuation of the project of Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports Reconstruction and to establish the Vilnius Congress Center that would meet international standards; the Council is eager to cooperate on all issues related to the reconstruction of Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports and the arrangement of the surrounding sites.

This entry was posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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