While the unveiling of the sign on Warsaw Street was met with a group of protesters across the street, the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius focused on the importance of common history and traditions during the event.
“Perhaps the unveiling of this sign may not be the most important event to ever occur in this city, but at the same time it is a very important event because the sign, right here, symbolises that such signs are necessary not because the Poles of Vilnius would not understand the language, but because we celebrate our common history, traditions and one another,” he said.
Meanwhile the Russian Street sign was smeared with paint hours after being unveiled. Mayor Šimašius called the act shameful. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has also issued a statement, condemning the act of vandalism.
Currently there are street signs in foreign languages in two other locations in the Lithuanian capital. One is on Iceland Street in Icelandic and one in Washington square in English.
The city municipality has plans to put similar signs in Hebrew, Tatar and German in streets related to the languages.