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2020.07.30 11:22

Lithuanian government hands over Great Synagogue of Vilna remains to Jewish foundation

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2020.07.30 11:22

The Lithuanian government has transferred the property rights to the remains of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius to the Good Will Foundation, the organisation which manages a public fund for compensation for Jewish communal property seized during the Holocaust.

The remains of the synagogue as well as ritual baths known as mikvahs in Žydų Street have been estimated at 1,244 euros, Culture Minister Mindaugas Kvietkauskas said.

“These are the remains of these buildings, the foundations unearthed during archaeological research,” the minister said.

“The buildings were severely damaged during the Second World War and finally demolished during the Soviet era,” he noted.

The Good Will Foundation has told the government that it will use the remains of the buildings to perpetuate the memory of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, according to the minister.

The remains were included into Lithuania's register of protected cultural heritage in 2017.

Archaeological research at the site began in 2011, partially funded by the Good Will Foundation.

Discussions on how to memorialise the synagogue have continued for several years. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius has pledged to do so by 2023 when the city is celebrating its 700-year anniversary.

The authorities plan to tear down a kindergarten that was built on top of the ruins.