The square used to host a statue of Lenin which was taken down soon after Lithuania’s secession from the Soviet Union. Ever since, various politicians and public figures have insisted on the need to reconstruct the square and build a monument for Lithuania’s struggle for freedom.
According to Degutienė, representatives of patriotic organisations are losing hope that the work will be completed by 2018 and this would be a harsh moral blow to all the people who suffered from the terror of totalitarian regimes.
The deputy speaker of the Seimas says that MPs are obliged to listen to the public opinion and carry out its will. And Lithuanian non-governmental organisations representing freedom fighters and defenders, political prisoners and deportees as well as other people who were victims of totalitarian regimes have clearly expressed their position over the memorial in Lukiškės Square. They have criticised the abstract statue project the Nation’s Spirit which was named the winner of the tender organised in late 2012 by the Ministry of Culture.
Degutienė reminded that back in 1999 the Seimas recognised Lukiškės Square as Lithuania’s main representative square which should also pay tribute to defenders of freedom. Member of the opposition party the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats criticised the Government by claiming that it has shown the lack of action and has failed to keep its promises. According to the politician, the solution of the issue will demonstrate the current Government’s attitude towards Lithuania’s image.