NSK hosting an exhibition marking the centenary of the restoration of Lithuania’s sovereignty
On 13 March 2018, the National and University Library in Zagreb hosted a special programme organised by the Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Zagreb as a way of marking the centenary of the restoration of the sovereignty of Lithuania. The celebration also included the opening of an accompanying exhibition, authored by Gintaras Balčytis and highlighting the architecture of Kaunas, the 2022 European Capital of Culture and Lithuania’s capital between the First and Second World Wars (Arhitektura Grada Kaunasa između dva svjetska rata).
The programme, which was attended by ambassadors, diplomats, the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Parliament, as well as the officials from the administrative bodies of the City of Zagreb and other guests, opened by the introductory addresses of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Croatia Her Excellency Loreta Zakaravičienė, Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Tatijana Petrić and State Secretary for European Affairs at the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Andreja Metelko-Zgombić.
“It is a pleasure to be here tonight, at this modern venue, and a particular pleasure to be again in Croatia, in Zagreb. I love your country and I love your people, because when I am here, I feel like I am at home,” said in her address Her Excellency Zakaravičienė, adding how she is glad that cooperation between Croatia and Lithuania is successfully widening.
Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Tatijana Petrić congratulated everyone present, including all citizens of Lithuania, on this significant anniversary. “Croatia and Lithuania have a lot in common. Above all, they share a similar effort to, in spite of all the obstacles history often have presented them with, protect and preserve their language, independence and national identity, which is primarily reflected in the wealth of culture and heritage. And culture and heritage is precisely what has brought us together today as well,” said Petrić.
The programme included a musical performance by the members of the String Orchestra of the Juozas Gruodis Conservatory in Kaunas.
The accompanying exhibition spotlights the architecture of Kaunas, presenting the 1920-1940 capital of Lithuania as evidence for the cultural, intellectual and political maturity of the country at that time. During these two decades, Kaunas transformed from a marginal provincial town to an important urban centre, keeping abreast of Europe’s trends in architecture and interpreting them in its own characteristic way. The exhibition vividly shows how, in a short period of only twenty years, architects of a young republic managed to fully incorporate Kaunas into the context of European architecture, thus making a significant contribution to the development of Lithuania and the strengthening of its position as a modern European country.
The exhibition will remain on view in the Library’s lobby until 23 March 2018.
Lithuania’s 1918 declaration of independence, rediscovered in Germany in 2017. Source: The Guardian. Photo: Reuters.