Everybody can place their name on the monument in Vilnius

  • 2010-07-01
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

SUBMIT YOUR BRICK: Sculpture project named the Road of Freedom.

VILNIUS - Now is the time when everyone can put his or her name on a monument which will forever remain in Vilnius. The unusual monument, named the Road of Freedom, will be opened at the intersection of Konstitucijos Avenue and Gelezinio Vilko Street on Aug. 23 to commemorate the Baltic Way of 1989 when the 600 kilometer-long chain of two million people, who joined hands connecting Vilnius and Tallinn, demanded independence for the three Baltic states. This sculpture is a collective creation: everyone can contribute and get a special brick, which will be put in the sculpture. The name of the person who has contributed to the sculpture will be stamped on each brick. ‘Individual’ bricks cost 25 litas (7.24 euros) while a ‘family’ brick costs twice that amount.

“Three-color bricks [yellow, green or red], which will be built into the Road of Freedom, can be purchased over the Internet by anyone, not only by Lithuanians and residents of Lithuania. People from Dubai (the United Arab Emirates), Austin (Texas, U.S.) and Atlanta (Georgia, U.S.) and many other places around the world have also expressed their wish to contribute to the creation of this sculpture. The names of all of them will be perpetuated in the Road of Freedom,” states Tadas Gutauskas, the author of the idea of the Road of Freedom and its sculptor. On the Web site www.laisveskelias.lt everyone can buy a personal brick for the sculpture. The bricks can be purchased in the Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post) offices as well. The project organizers will answer all questions by e-mail: pagalba@laisveskelias.lt

Gutauskas is a graduate of the Ciurlionis Art School and the Vilnius Art Academy. He studied at the Salzburg Summer Academy in Austria, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and the College of Art and Crafts of Iceland in Reykjavik.

Lithuania today lacks ideas that unite. There is much more skepticism, desperation and disbelief than solidarity, determination and faith,” Sarunas Frolenko, president of the Council of Lithuanian Youth Organizations, stated on the project’s Web site, explaining why this project, glorifying freedom and solidarity, should be important for Lithuania now.

The bricks are made in the ancient traditional way by Gintaras Knieza, who lives and, as he says, “bakes bricks,” in the Varena region. Each brick is baked for 50 hours. A name and surname, or family’s name, are stamped on the brick of clay when it is still wet. Later, bricks are dried, glazed and baked at a temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius. The sculpture the Road of Freedom will be 60 meters long and will consist of up to 20,000 bricks. The organizers would be happy if somebody in Riga and Tallinn would start to create a similar sculpture commemorating the Baltic Way. Anyway, it is obvious that Vilnius will have the first such monument in the Baltics.

“The exact figure of bricks in the monument is not yet clear. It will be no more than 20,000 bricks. At the moment, we plan to continue to sell them until the middle of July,” Rytis Sabas, representative of the Road of Freedom project, told The Baltic Times.