Monument cast from Litas coins commemorates first central banker

Monument to Jurgutis
Lietuvos banko nuotr.

The monument is cast from molten copper, zinc and nickel alloy from 50 cent Litas coins. It took around 75,000 coins weighing around 450 kg to cast the statue. This is the first and only bust in Lithuania made of cast coins.

Jurgutis, one of the most prominent personalities in interwar Lithuania, was a politician, scientist, educator, and a talented financier. He led the country’s monetary policy and headed the Bank of Lithuania for seven years from its inception and introduction of the national currency Litas into circulation (1922-1929). At the time he played a key part in developing strong foundations for the Lithuanian monetary system.

The chairman of the board of Bank of Lithuania Vitas Vasiliauskas said: “This monument will remind us of Litas, which honourably served our country, and will express our respect for Professor Vladas Jurgutis – the first manager of the Bank of Lithuania who contributed much to ensure the monetary stability in inter-war Lithuania and the consolidation of Litas in the national economy. Thanks to him, Litas became one of the strongest national currencies. Mr. Jurgutis also strengthened the Bank of Lithuania as an institution, a tradition we are continuing today.”

To highlight Jurgutis’s achievements in Lithuanian banking, the Bank of Lithuania has designated a Jurgutis award which has been awarded for the last seven years. The Bank of Lithuania has also established a Jurgutis scholarship. Every year it is awarded to the two best economics and finance students from Lithuanian universities.

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