As the report from Siauliai „Ausros“ museum states, the forthcoming 100th anniversaries of Independence of two neighbouring countries – Lithuania and Latvia – have given impetus to pay attention to exceptional educational institution – Mitau (now Jelgava, Latvia) gymnasium, where the future Presidents of the Republic of Latvia Janis Cakste (1859–1927) and Alberts Kviesis (1881–1944), the President of the Republic of Lithuania Antanas Smetona (1874–1944), Prime Ministers Mykolas Slezevicius (1882–1939), Vytautas Petrulis (1890–1942), Juozas Tubelis (1882–1939), Vladas Mironas (1880–1953), as well as a large number of representatives of politics, economics, science, culture and arts from both countries, who contributed to the prosperity of two countries by their work and creation, were studying.
By common accord of Siauliai "Ausros" Museum (Lithuania) director Raimundas Balza and Gederts Eliass History and Art Museum of Jelgava director Gita Grase, Siauliai "Ausros" museum initiated the project "The International Exhibition and Publication ‘The Creators of Independent States – Lithuania and Latvia – in Mitau Gymnasium'". The project was funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Siauliai City Municipality. The project promoters – Siauliai "Ausros" museum and Gederts Eliass History and Art Museum of Jelgava, a partner – association " Balts Centre" (Siauliai, Lithuania).
The aim of the project is on the basis of memory institutions' resources to organize the exhibition, where by employing museum means, the history of Mitau gymnasium is told, as well as the activity, fates of both countries' representatives who used to study in this school are introduced, the road of Lithuania and Latvia to Independence is revealed, the fragments of independent states' history are conveyed, the circumstances of Independence loss are highlighted. By this exhibition, it is wished to deny the attitude which prevailed during the Soviet times, that at the end of the 19th century in Mitau only left-minded Lithuanians acted.
The opening of the exhibition will happen on 16 February 2017, 3.00 p.m. The exhibition will be open from 16 February until 23 April 2017. Address is Chaimas Fenkelis villa, Vilniaus str. 74, Siauliai