PM: Vilnius Sports Palace could become a museum and memorial of Jewish history

In his interview with public broadcaster LRT, published on Thursday, the prime minister said such an idea was being considered following consultations last year. Meanwhile, the previous government planned to turn the palace into a convention center.

“Over the past year, we have held consultations on ways to change attitudes and agreed that this place, which has special value for the Jewish history of Lithuania, should be dedicated to the history of Lithuanian Jews and that it should be told there, be it a museum, a memorial or a specific object for this purpose,” Simonyte said.

She also recalled that the ongoing public discussions with representatives of the international Jewish community pose challenges for the adaptation of the building. In addition, the building has the status of cultural heritage.

“We will try to go in this direction and see if we can offer the public a good solution of using this space to dedicate it to the history of the Lithuanian Jews. Not only to the Holocaust, but just to tell all the story of what we have known for centuries and what we have lost, and for those little things we still need to be protected and grow,” Simonyte said.

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius on Thursday welcomed the Prime Minister’s stance on the future of the Palace of Concerts and Sports. In his own words, the previous government’s decision to end the convention center project was a mistake “but commemorating the history of the Jewish people in this sensitive place is a very good choice.”

“I expect from the government not only words, but specific financial commitments related to these decisions. Through the dialogue with the community on the use of this palace (which I have already started), we will certainly find the best solutions” , said the mayor. on Facebook.

There had been plans in Lithuania to turn the palace into a congress center since 2015, when Turto Bankas (Property Bank), the state-owned property manager, took over the building. He already wanted to rebuild the building in 2016, but a tender issued that year was ultimately cancelled.

Since then, the start of reconstruction has been postponed several times.

The reconstruction project also encountered resistance from some Jewish communities since the complex is located on the territory of an old Jewish cemetery dating back to the 16th century.

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

About Carlos V. Mitchell

Check Also

Exchange Museum Barbados Tour – Learn about the history of Barbados trade and commerce from 1625 to 1938

One of the newest museums in Barbados is the Exchange Interactive Center also known as …