Thursday, March 28, Rome – President Dalia Grybauskaitė opened a new Lithuanian embassy building in Rome during her official visit to Italy.
The President extended congratulations to all who had gathered at the Lithuanian isle in the Eternal City. The ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister of Italy and EU Commissioner Mario Monti – who made a personal contribution to finding an acceptable solution in 2013 – and Giulio Terzi, Italy’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs – who signed the intergovernmental agreement on the transfer of building to Lithuania.
In her address, the President said that the opening of the new embassy building was yet another moment of historic justice. Through joint efforts, Lithuania and Italy resolved the complicated problem of the embassy building in Rome, which had persisted for many years since the Soviet occupation.
The President wished the participants to continue expanding political, cultural and business relations between Lithuania and Italy, expressing her firm belief that the new embassy would serve as a Lithuanian center of attraction in Rome and a hub of information about our country.
The story of Villa Lituania, which housed the embassy of Lithuania during the interwar period, turned into a decades-long drama. Lithuania purchased the building in 1937 and paid half of its price before 1940. After the occupation of Lithuania, Villa Lituania was taken over by the Soviets. Russia had never admitted the damage incurred and refused to return the building.
After prolonged negotiations with Italy, an agreement was reached in 2013, granting premises to the Lithuanian embassy for 99 years at a symbolic fee of 1 euro. It took three years to complete design work. Reconstruction started at the beginning of last year and ended this year.
According to the President, the new embassy building fully suits the needs of Lithuania. History fits perfectly well into modern premises. The embasy is located in an old manor house, which is included in the Italian Cultural Heritage List. Some pieces of furniture are from the legendary Villa Lituania. Embassy walls are decorated with artworks by well-known Lithuanian painters. Windows open a beautiful view to the Tiber.
The embassy will be a home for all Lithuanians living in Italy. On May 11, local Lithuanian communities are holding their congress here.
Last updated 2019.03.28 16:25Back