The discussions on the Vilnius location of the monument for Righteous Among Nations have been in progress for a few years.
The Jewish Community in Lithuania has proposed building the monument next to the Ona Simaitė Street – at the intersection of the Misionierių and Maironio Streets.
The community’s leader Faina Kukliansky sees the location as highly symbolic, as thousands of Jews were brought to the yard of the Misionierių Monastery on Sept. 23 of 1943 for final selection, with participants of the ghetto resistance efforts massacred there.
Simaitė was one of the first Lithuanians awarded as the Righteous Among Nations by the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute in 1966.
The proposal on the monument had been approved by the Cultural Heritage Department, however, it was rejected by the Lithuanian capital’s municipality. Dalia Bardauskienė, spokeswoman to the Vilnius mayor, said the city wanted a more honorable and a more significant location.
Government Vice-Chancellor Deividas Matulionis said he wanted the matter to be settled by Sept. 23, the 75-year anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto.
The Yad Vashem Institute has listed nearly 900 Lithuanians as Righteous Among Nations.