Palace of the Grand Dukes marks grand opening

  • 2013-07-10
  • From wire reports

VILNIUS - On Lithuanian State Day the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania was solemnly opened in Vilnius, reports ELTA. It has taken ten years to rebuild this symbol of Lithuanian statehood and unity, which had vanished two centuries ago.
On the day marking the coronation of King Mindaugas, the benefactors and initiators of the reconstruction were greeted at the Palace of the Grand Dukes. Heads of the state, foreign guests, representatives of cultural institutions and Lithuanians living abroad were present at the grand opening.

According to President Dalia Grybauskaite, the Palace of the Grand Dukes consolidates the continuation of statehood and the strength of the nation. Only after realizing and giving a sense to Lithuania’s past can people expect the country to prosper in the future, she said.

During the ceremony the most important initiators, executors and benefactors of the Palace of the Grand Dukes project were mentioned. People who had donated to the Support Foundation for the Palace were thanked. Donations totaling 1.4 million euros had been collected.

Director of the Royal Castle Museum in Warsaw Andrzej Rottermund said that the Vilnius and Warsaw palaces’ fates are similar - both had been destroyed, but have risen from ruins. However, the Palace of the Grand Dukes still has to integrate itself into Lithuanian cultural and public life.