News2017.11.10 11:32

The historical Gediminas Castle Hill keeps crumbling

Algirdas Acus 2017.11.10 11:32

The iconic Vilnius symbol Gediminas Castle Hill keeps failing as the Government promises to assign all the necessary funding needed to preserve it.

The mound with a medieval castle is popular among tourists, but now it is closed to all the visitors for security reasons – recent heavy rainfalls caused dangerous landslides.

‘Now we can see that part of rainfall not only fall on slopes, but also are absorbed into the slopes’, said Jonas Satkūnas, Head of the Lithuanian Geological Survey.

The government promised to drain off the slopes and prepare them for winter, but it is being criticized for a slow response as many warnings of experts were issued before regarding negative effects of increased transportation around the hill – funicular, noisy concerts and even fireworks as Gediminas Hill was the main flag point during various celebrations.

‘At the moment, upper part of the mound is covered with temporary means, they are not prepared for a winter and therefore we must install roofing on top’, said Renaldas Augustinavičius, Deputy Minister of Culture.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis promised to provide as much money as needed to save the iconic historical site. On top it has a castle dating to XIII century, destroyed during the wars with Russia in XVII century and restored after WW2 and again after Lithuania gained independence from Soviet Union.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

JONAS SATKŪNAS, Head of the Lithuanian Geological Survey:

Drainage system at the top of the hill must perform ideally, collect all the rainfall and drain it to the bottom. But now we can see that part of rainfall not only fall on slopes, but also are absorbed into the slopes.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

RENALDAS AUGUSTINAVIČIUS, Deputy Minister of Culture:

At the moment the upper part is covered with temporary means. They are not prepared for winter. Therefore we must install roofing on top and around the duke palace we must install freeze-insulating materials and a roof inside. That is because if water pours through the top, it will escape on slopes. (black flash)

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

SAULIUS SKVERNELIS, Prime Minister of Lithuania:

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