The diplomatic support of Italy to the independence of Lithuania since 1919: exhibition of historical documents in Kaunas

Italian flag
Italian flag

The Italian Embassy in Vilnius organizes in Kaunas an exhibition of historical documents that show the Italian support for the independence of Lithuania since 1919. At the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library-Museum (S. Daukanto g. 25), in the same building that in the inter-War period was the seat of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there will be on display some of the most significant Italian historical diplomatic documents of that crucial and decisive period, following the end of World War I, in which the nascent – but still unrecognized – Republic of Lithuania established the first relations with Italy.

In a very delicate and crucial phase of the beginning of its international relations, Lithuania received from Italy convinced and so far little-known support, which proved to be relevant for the country’s rebirth. Although proclaimed in February 1918, it was acknowledged de jure by Italy and the other victorious powers only in December 1922.

1991 Diplomatic relations reestablishment

The exhibition, which has already been on display in the autumn of 2021 at the Italian Institute of Culture in Vilnius, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between Italy and Lithuania, which took place in August 1991. Of particular relevance are the letters addressed to the President of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, Professor Vytautas Landsbergis – who has personally attended the inauguration of the exposition – and the minutes of the League of Nations in 1920 documenting the vote in favour of Lithuania’s accession, which was only cast by Italy and a few other countries (Portugal and some non-European countries).

On Friday, 10 March, at 11 a.m. in the Adamkus Library, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy Aistė Žemaitytė of the Vytautas Magnus University of Kaunas and its Director Arūnas Antanaitis will introduce Professors Andrea Griffante and Egidijus Aleksandravičius who, together with the Italian Ambassador to Lithuania H.E. Diego Ungaro, will present to the public the significance of the exhibition – which will later also be exhibited at the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy of the Vytautas Magnus University of Kaunas – and the historical and political context which made possible the convinced Italian support for the rebirth of Lithuanian independence, both in the period 1919-1922 and in 1991.

Profesor Vytautas Landsbergis and ambassador of Italy to Lithuania Diego Ungaro

The exhibition will remain at the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library until 23 March; from 25 March to 13 April, it will be displayed at the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy of Kaunas’s Vytautas Magnus University.

Adamkus Library, Daukanto g.25 – Kaunas

Opening on March 10th at 11am

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