Dr. Zenonas Butkus, Professor, Dean of Vilnius University History Faculty
Lithuania is quite united, but you can never have too much of solidarity. At present the country is fragmented, in particular, in social terms, with distinct social inequality and different attitudes – some people are supporting ideas, while others are pushing pragmatism. It is “The Baltic Way” symbolically renewed after 20 years which can mobilise the nation again, because two decades ago radical and more moderate forces united to form the chain from Vilnius to Tallinn.
Small portion of the bricks will be redone due to the mistakes and some technical problems. There are still 170 more bricks that can be sold untill March 11th, 2011.
About the Project
“The Road of Freedom” is a sculpture commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the restoration of the State of Lithuania and invites all residents of the country and patriots of Lithuania to continue along the path of freedom and solidarity.
The Project idea evolved from a reflection of contemporary apathy, pessimism and confrontation. “The Road of Freedom” is a commemoration of the fight for independence and a symbol of freedom and solidarity for future generations. It encourages the remembrance of the idea of solidarity which helped Lithuania to gain its freedom.
The sculpture is symbolic of the live chain of people who, more than 20 years ago, joined hands and connected the three Baltic States who were striving for independence. The chain stretched a length of over 600 kilometres and became an expression of unprecedented solidarity.
This sculpture, just like “The Baltic Way” created unanimously by the Lithuanian people 21 years ago, is a collective creation – everyone can contribute to the Project and get a special brick which will be put in the sculpture. Each brick will be the in the colours of the Lithuanian flag and the name of the person who has contributed to the sculpture will be stamped on each brick.
Upon approval of Vilnius City Urban Development Department the sculpture will be erected at the crossroads of Konstitucijos Avenue and Geležinio vilko Street near the traffic circle. On 20 January 2010 by decision of the Government the Project “The Road of Freedom” was included in the plan of events to commemorate the restoration of the statehood of Lithuania eligible for financing and patronage for the Project has been provided by the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO.
The opening of “The Road of Freedom” is planned for 23 August on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of “The Baltic Way”. The sculpture “The Road of Freedom” will be 60 metres long and will consist of up to 20 000 bricks.
The author of the Project idea is the sculptor Tadas Gutauskas, who has created numerous outstanding monuments, with the assistance of the architect Saulius Pamerneckis.